While he thought he was exposing their new rival in the Sahel (the Russian group named Wagner), French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian instead unwittingly heightened doubt about the purity of his nation’s intentions towards Mali and the other countries of the Sahel.

The French Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian accuses the Russians who officially start operating in Mali a few weeks ago, of plundering this country. What proves that the French troops present in the Sahel for more than eight (8) years do not also loot these African countries victims of terrorism?

Indeed, the head of French diplomacy recently told French journalists that the Russian group, Wagner is looting Mali, while tensions are rising between Paris and Bamako in recent weeks.

Wagner, “these are former Russian soldiers, armed by Russia and accompanied by Russian logistics. In the Central African Republic, they went to predation by exchanging the security of the authorities for the right to exploit mining resources with impunity,” said Jean-Yves Le Drian in an interview published by Le Journal du Dimanche (JDD).

“In Mali, it’s the same. They are already using the country’s resources in exchange for the protection of the junta. They despoil Mali”, criticized Le Drian, before continuing: “Wagner uses the weakness of certain states to establish itself, not to replace the Europeans, and beyond to strengthen the influence of Russia in Africa”. According to him, the objective of the Russian company is “clearly to ensure the sustainability of power” of the junta.

Since 2013, Paris has deployed around 5,100 troops to the Sahel region, which includes Mali, helping to support local governments and their forces in the fight against a growing Islamist insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives.

Even if France did not benefit from these fights against terrorism in these countries victims of multiple attacks, the above declarations of the French Minister Jean-Yves showed how easy it is for them to loot the countries they claim to be helping.

France’s freedom to plunder

The French army unfortunately has more freedom to loot Mali than the Russians, not only for the fact that France has been there for a long time, but also because it controls certain territories that the local army cannot access.

A French soldier from the 12th armoured division uses his binoculars from an armoured vehicle during the regional anti-insurgent Operation Barkhane in Inaloglog, Mali, October 17, 2017. Picture taken October 17, 2017. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier – RC170225CB00

A few weeks ago, the Malian transitional government announced its desire to revise the defense agreements concluded with France. The junta denounced the violation of its airspace by a French military transport plane A400M “Atlas” having provided a link between Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire) and Gao (Mali), when it had just closed its borders in response to the sanctions imposed on the nation by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Except that, as General Laurent Michon, the current commander of the French force Barkhane, recalled, the military agreements concluded between Bamako and Paris, in particular that of March 7, 2013 in the form of an “exchange of letters” between the two governments, guarantee “full freedom of movement on Malian territory and airspace for vehicles and aircraft, military and civilian, personnel of the French detachment as well as non-French detachments of the Takuba force”.

During his interview with ORTM, Prime Minister Choguel Kokalla Maïga mainly mentioned the letter sent by Dioncounda Traoré, then interim President of Mali, to France and to the UN Security Council, under the Article 51 of the United Nations Charter relating to self-defence. And to ensure that “no copy exists either at the presidency or at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs”, the original being in France.

“When we needed it recently, it was on the French Senate website that we found it. Because we wanted to re-read the Accords, which he considers “unbalanced” because they make “us a State which cannot even fly over its territory without the authorization of France”.

Still referring to the letter, Mr. Maïga assured that it “clearly” indicated “air and intelligence support” that it did not foresee “French soldiers on our land”. And to add: “They brought 4000 French soldiers […]. They brought in other Africans, they brought in MINUSMA, prohibiting the Malian army from accessing part of its territory, while they claim that it is to recover the integrity of the territory. So there is a soothing discourse, waiting for the rude awakening and reality”.

France resists pressure from terrorists and people of Mali

Another point that casts doubt on the innocence of Paris is its resistance despite pressure from opponents of French President Emmanuel Macron, African peoples and the new military government.

Since the coup in Mali, demonstrations in Burkina Faso and Mali have continued to denounce the presence of French armed forces on their territories. Despite everything, France is resisting at the same time the pressure of the jihadists and the peoples it “saves”.

Moreover, a few hours after the Malian authorities gave the French ambassador 72 hours to leave their country, candidates for the next presidential election in France have again questioned the presence of the French army in Mali. .

We are fighting to expel the jihadists from Mali, but Mali is expelling our ambassador. Our soldiers are dying for a country that humiliates us! France’s entire African policy needs to be rethought.
Before the sacrifices and our deaths in #Mali have been rendered in vain, before the tear is complete, it is time for France to come back to reality and empty the abscess with the current Malian power. And that the National Assembly be seized and decide on an action plan.

So, as these French soldiers die for a country that humiliates France, what is it still doing in this country if it does not gain anything?