Mali accuses France of ‘espionage and destabilising acts’

Mali’s foreign affairs minister says the military government will exercise its right to self-defence if France “continues to undermine'” the country’s sovereignty and national security.

Speaking at a United Nations Security Council briefing on Mali in New York, Minister Abdoulaye Diop repeated allegations that France had violated its airspace and delivered arms to Islamist militants that have been waging an offensive in northern Mali for the past decade.

France has denied this. Its relations with Mali have soured since an August 2020 coup and it is withdrawing troops sent in 2013 to help fight the insurgency.

“There needs to be a specific meeting of the Security Council which will make it possible for us to bring to light evidence regarding duplicitous acts, acts of espionage and acts of destabilization waged by France,” Diop said. “The government of Mali reserves the right to exercise its right to self-defence … if France continues to undermine the sovereignty of our country and to undermine its territorial integrity and its national security,” he added.

France’s representative at the UN slammed the accusations as defamatory, defended French intervention in Mali as fully transparent and said the country had never violated Malian airspace.

Credit: rfi


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