Abdoulaye Diop, the head of Malian diplomacy, during a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart after their meeting in Moscow, May 20, 2022. YURI KADOBNOV / AFP Supply of “weapons” and collection of “intelligence for the benefit terrorist groups”, “espionage” and “intimidation” of the Malian armed forces (FAMA)… In a letter sent Monday August 15 to the (rotating) president of the UN Security Council, the Chinese ambassador , the head of Malian diplomacy, multiplied the accusations against France. The same day, in northern Mali, the last soldier of Operation Barkhane left the Gao base after more than nine years of interventions carried out in the name of the fight against terrorism. Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers In Mali, the discreet withdrawal of the last French soldiers from Operation “Barkhane” This three-page letter, consulted by Le Monde, details alleged “acts of aggression” committed by French forces . The junta, in power since the double coup of August 2020 and May 2021, claims to have “recorded more than fifty deliberate cases of violation of Malian airspace by foreign aircraft, in particular operated by French forces” , since the beginning of the year. The latter are notably accused of “acts of indiscipline characterized by refusal to obey the instructions of the air traffic control services”, falsification of flight documents or even obstruction of the movement of Malian military aviation and this , “throughout the process of transfer to the Malian authorities of the northern airspace, since the announcement of the withdrawal of Barkhane [au mois de février 2022]. The charges go much further than these alleged acts of aerial indiscipline. The government of Mali asserts that it “has several pieces of evidence that these flagrant violations (…) have been used by France to collect intelligence for the benefit of terrorist groups operating in the Sahel and to drop weapons and ammunition on them. “. Without however having, for the time being, delivered a single proof to the Security Council. By way of conclusion, Abdoulaye Diop warns that in the event of “persistence of this posture which undermines the stability and security of the country [le Mali se réserve] the right to use self-defence”. “Obviously unfounded accusations,” responds Paris L’Elysée sweeps away these attacks: “The junta has taken a step into the incredible and the implausible by making obviously unfounded accusations. The only security-related activities carried out during the withdrawal of “Barkhane” consisted “in securing the last French military convoys of the operation leaving Mali, monitoring the activities of terrorists and targeting senior executives of the two main groups [Groupe de soutien à l’islam et aux musulmans (GSIM, affilié à Al-Qaida) et l’organisation Etat islamique au grand Sahara (EIGS)] “, specifies the presidency. You have 55.45% of this article left to read. The following is for subscribers only.
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