En signe de protestation, le Mali se retire du G5 Sahel et de sa force militaire antijihadiste

En signe de protestation, le Mali se retire du G5 Sahel et de sa force militaire antijihadiste

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The Malian army announced on Sunday the country’s withdrawal from the G5 Sahel, a military alliance fighting against jihadist groups. To justify its decision, the junta denounces the failure in the organization of summits in Mali and the maneuvers of an extra-regional state.

A new illustration of the isolation decided by the army in Mali: to protest against the refusal opposed to it to assume the presidency of the G5 Sahel, the Malian junta announced, on the evening of Sunday May 15, its withdrawal from this regional organization formed with Mauritania, Chad, Burkina and Niger.

“The government of Mali decides to withdraw from all organs and bodies of the G5 Sahel, including the Joint Force [antijihadiste]“, reports the press release.

Bilateral relations with the G5 Sahel countries “remain maintained”, said the Malian Minister of Territorial Administration, Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga, on Malian public television.

To justify its decision, the junta highlighted the little progress made against the insurgents and the failure in the recent organization of summits in Mali.

A denounced “instrumentalization”

A conference of G5 Sahel Heads of State, scheduled for February 2022 in Bamako, was to “dedicate the start of the Malian presidency of the G5 [mais] almost a quarter after the indicated term [cette réunion] has still not held,” the statement said.

Bamako “firmly rejects the argument of a member state of the G5 Sahel which advances the national internal political situation to oppose the exercise by Mali of the presidency of the G5 Sahel”, is it indicated in the text, without mention of the State in question.

According to the Malian government, “the opposition of certain G5 Sahel states to the presidency of Mali is linked to the maneuvers of an extra-regional state desperately aiming to isolate Mali”, without also specifying the latter state. Relations between Mali and European countries, starting with France, have deteriorated significantly in recent months.

Bamako accuses the G5 Sahel of “loss of autonomy” and of being the victim of “instrumentalization” and “serious dysfunction” of its organs.

The operational capacity of the G5 Sahel is undermined

This decision further isolates Mali from its neighbors, while the country has been targeted by economic and diplomatic sanctions from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) since January 9. It sanctions the intention of the junta to remain in power for several more years, after two putschs – in August 2020, then in May 2021.

The junta has opted for a two-year transition while ECOWAS is asking Bamako to organize elections in 16 months maximum.

In addition to Mali, the G5 Sahel, made up of around 5,000 soldiers, is made up of Mauritania, Chad, Burkina and Niger.

The military coups in Mali and Burkina Faso, two of the five members of the Multilateral Anti-Jihadist Force G5 Sahel, are undermining its operational capacity, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recently estimated in a report submitted. May 11 at the Security Council.

“I am deeply concerned about the rapidly deteriorating security situation in the Sahel, as well as the potentially adverse effect that the uncertain political situation in Mali, Burkina Faso and beyond will have on efforts to make the Force more operational. Joint G5 Sahel.”

With AFP and Reuters

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