Mali Citizens Have Risen Up In Protest Against France (LWG): It is no news to many conscious Africans that France has continued to play God with the lives and destinies of Africans in her former colonies. France has continued to collect colonial taxes from its former colonies and has in the last few years deployed troops to these former colonies.
France claims to be fighting terrorism in Africa, but reports (both confirmed and unconfirmed) have shown that France has a hand in the insurgencies ravaging many West African nations. One glaring example is the report by the Nigerian government that indicted France in feeding Bokoharam terrorists in the Sahel.
According to AFP journalists, thousands of people gathered in Mali’s capital on Wednesday, supporting the country’s military leadership and condemning perceived foreign intervention in the Sahel state.
Colonel Assimi Goita, the country’s military strongman, is under increasing pressure from European nations to back out of a proposed contract with Russian private-security firm Wagner.
After rumors that Mali was close to hiring 1,000 Wagner paramilitaries surfaced this month, former colonial power France — which has hundreds of troops in Mali — warned against the arrangement.
“We will not be able to dwell with mercenaries,” French Defense Minister Florence Parly stated this week.
Should Mali reach an agreement with Wagner, Germany, which has soldiers in the war-torn country of 19 million people, said it will reassess its presence.
On Wednesday, Estonian Defense Minister Kalle Laanet told Vikerraadio, the country’s state radio station, that if Mali and Wagner reached an agreement, the Estonian force would withdraw. They had around a hundred soldiers on the scene.
The Failure Of French intervention
Around three thousand people attended Wednesday’s march in Bamako, according to a police official who begged to remain anonymous.
AFP correspondents observed many protestors waving Malian flags and carrying pro-military posters. Russian flags were also waved by some.
A spokesman for the protesting group, Siriki Kouyate, claimed France’s military intervention in Mali had failed.
“This can’t carry on like this,” he added.
Mali has been fighting to put down a deadly jihadist insurgency that began in 2012 and has since extended to Burkina Faso and Niger.
France intervened in Mali in 2013 to halt a jihadist advance, but the situation worsened despite French forces being present.
The presence of French troops in Mali has sparked occasional protests and has been widely criticized on social media.
Wednesday’s protest comes as Mali’s partners become increasingly concerned that the government would fail to organize elections early next year.
Last year, Goita deposed President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, and in May, he staged a second coup against the interim government.
While he has committed to keep the interim government’s election timetable of February 2022, few preparations have been completed.
Hundreds of people protested in Bamako earlier this month when the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States declared the election deadline “non-negotiable.”
Goita called on Mali’s international partners to adopt “a better interpretation of the situation” in the country during a speech on Tuesday evening.