December 5, 2022
Acting Prime Minister of Mali Abdoulaye Maiga addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022 at U.N. headquarters.Mary Altaffer/AP

Mali Blasts France

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Malian PM lashes France at the UN 77th General Assembly

The Acting Prime Minister of Mali Abdoulaye Maiga on Saturday railed at his country’s former colonial overlord France during remarks at the United Nations (UN) 77th General Assembly in New York, Saturday.

“Move on from the colonial past and hear the anger, the frustration, the rejection that is coming up from the African cities and countryside, and understand that this movement is inexorable,” Maiga said. “Your intimidations and subversive actions have only swelled the ranks of Africans concerned with preserving their dignity.”

In a more than 30-minute speech, he referenced everything from Victor Hugo to the Rwandan genocide. Maiga repeated unfounded claims that France colluded with Islamic extremists and spoke of nefarious elements with “hidden agendas.”

France intervened militarily in 2013, leading an effort to oust Islamic extremists from control of the northern Malian towns they had overtaken. Over the past nine years, France had continued its presence in a bid to stabilize the country amid repeated attacks by insurgents but finally withdrew from Mali on August 15 amidst opposition from Bamako.

Leader of Mali’s ruling junta Lt. Col. Assimi Goita, center, attends an independence day military parade in Bamako, Mali Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022. Malian authorities held a traditional military parade Thursday to make the country’s first independence day celebration since French troops departed after nine years of fighting Islamic extremists in its one-time colony. Photo AP

Maiga praised the “exemplary and fruitful cooperation between Mali and Russia.” While offering a grim assessment of the U.N. peacekeeping mission known as MINUSMA, while openly praising the influence of Russian mercenaries from the Wagner Group.

Guinea’s junta leader Col. Mamady Doumbouya salutes during an independence day military parade in Bamako, Mali Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022. Malian authorities held a traditional military parade Thursday to make the country’s first independence day celebration since French troops departed after nine years of fighting Islamic extremists in its one-time colony.AP

“We must recognize that nearly 10 years after its establishment, the objectives for which MINUSMA was deployed in Mali have not been achieved,” Maiga said. “This is despite numerous Security Council resolutions.”

Maiga, a government spokesman, was dispatched to New York to address the U.N. General Assembly instead of  Assimi Goïta. The coup leader instead attended celebrations Friday in Bamako marking Mali’s independence from France in 1960.

Also in attendance at that event was the junta leader Col. Mamady Doumbouya who seized power in Guinea a little over a year after Mali’s coup d’etat. A third West African country, Burkina Faso, underwent a military coup in January, deepening fears that democracy is gradually fading amid mounting violence from Islamic extremists.

Source AP

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