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While the Malian junta demanded the immediate departure of the Danish contingent deployed to participate in Takuba, the European countries involved in this task force reacted on Wednesday in a joint press release, calling on Bamako to “respect the solid foundations of diplomatic and operational cooperation”. .
The European countries engaged in Mali within the Takuba special forces group ask the Malian junta to “respect the solid foundations of diplomatic and operational cooperation”, while Bamako has asked for the departure of the Danish contingent which has just arrived, according to a press release joint published Wednesday, January 26.
“We, international partners committed to supporting Mali and its people in their efforts to achieve lasting peace and stability and in the fight against terrorism, deeply regret the declaration of the Malian transitional authorities (…) alleging that the deployment of the Danish contingent in Task Force Takuba took place without a legal basis and without the consent of the Malian government”, underlines the press release, calling on the Malian authorities to “quickly remedy this situation”.
Bamako asked Denmark on Monday to “immediately” withdraw the contingent of a hundred men recently deployed in Mali to participate in Takuba, a task force initiated by France and intended to accompany Malian soldiers in combat against the jihadists. According to the Malian government, dominated by the military who came to power in a putsch in August 2020, “this deployment took place without its consent”.
However, underlines the press release published Wednesday evening, “we recall that all the partners of the Task Force Takuba carry out their action in accordance with the solid legal framework which has been agreed with the sovereign government of Mali, including in particular a formal invitation sent by the Malian authorities to international partners”.
“The junta multiplies the provocations”
France has engaged in “in-depth consultation” with its European partners participating in the Takuba special forces group, the French Minister for the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, said on Tuesday, stressing that “the junta is increasing provocations”.
After restrictions imposed in Malian airspace and the questioning of the defense agreements linking Bamako to Paris, this request for the withdrawal of the Danish contingent constitutes a new obstacle to French and European military action in Mali, forcing Paris to s questioning the path to follow with a junta intending to remain in power for several years, and accused of having opened the doors of the country to Russian mercenaries from the private company Wagner.
Monday’s coup in Burkina Faso also complicates the equation for Paris. Of the four Sahelian countries where the Barkhane anti-jihadist force is deployed, three (Chad, Mali, Burkina) are now led by a military junta.