Emmanuel Macron claimed that France would withdraw its troops if Mali went ” in the sense “ of radical Islamism, in an interview with the JDD broadcast on Sunday, May 30, after a second coup in nine months.
France, which engages around 5,100 men in Operation Barkhane, supports Mali, which has been facing since 2012 a jihadist push from the North, which has plunged the country into a security crisis and has spread to the center of country. But Paris, like the EU, on Tuesday denounced a “Unacceptable coup” after the arrest of President Bah N’Daw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane decided by the strong man of the country, Colonel Assimi Goïta.
“To Malian President Bah N’Daw, who was very rigorous about the seal between power and jihadists, I said: “Radical Islamism in Mali with our soldiers there? No way !” Today there is this temptation in Mali. But if it goes in this direction, I will withdraw ”, warned the French president, in an interview with the weekly on the occasion of a trip to Rwanda and South Africa.
The French head of state also claims to have “Passed the message” to the leaders of West Africa that he “Would not remain alongside a country where there is no longer democratic legitimacy or transition”. He recalls having said three years ago, “Within several Defense Councils that we had to think about the exit”.
“At the top of Pau, I prepared a way out. I stayed at the request of the States, because I thought the exit was a point of destabilization. But the question arises, and it is not our vocation to stay there forever ”, he repeated. Emmanuel Macron warns against a failure of a development policy in Africa. “I say it lucidly, if we are complicit in Africa’s failure, we will be accountable but we will also pay dearly, especially in terms of migration”, he believes.
He reaffirms that it is therefore necessary “Invest heavily” at the end of the Covid-19 pandemic “With the equivalent of a Marshall plan” and that the international community must have “The generosity of saying that we are erasing part of the debt to help Africans build their future”.