Military junta accuses French army of “espionage” and “sabotage”

Soldiers in power in Bamako, the evening of Tuesday 27 April, accused the French army“spy” Based on “sabotage” After the French General Staff broadcasted videos taken by a drone near a base in central Mali, France recently returned to it.

The financial authorities have “Since the beginning of the year, more than fifty cases of deliberate violations of the country’s airspace by foreign aircraft, in particular those operated by French forces, have been noted.”Announces a press release from the government of Bamako. One of the most recent cases was the illegal presence, on April 20, 2022, of a French military drone, over the Josie base, which they controlled. [avait] had been moved ” To the Armed Forces of Mali (FAMa) the day before, adds the text signed by Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga, spokesman for the government formed by the junta.

“The drone was there (…) To spy on the gallant Fama. In addition to espionage, the French forces were guilty of sabotage by publishing [de] False pictures fabricated from scratch to accuse the soldiers of the Malian armed forces of committing crimes of killing civilians with the aim of discrediting them. [leur] picture “finally accuses the press release.

Read also: Mali: In the information war, the French army responds and accuses the Wagner Group

On April 21, two days after returning its base of José to the Malian armed forces, the French army set out to confront what it described as‘media attack’ And it posted a video of what it claimed were Russian mercenaries burying their bodies near that base in order to accuse France of war crimes in Mali.

These photos, taken by a drone, show soldiers preoccupied with corpses covering them in sand. In another scene we see two of these soldiers depicting half-buried corpses. The French General Staff confirmed that they were white soldiers, indicating that they were members of the Wagner private military company, which it identified in videos and photos taken elsewhere.

“Bring all the light”

The day after these photos were posted, the financial staff announced that they had discovered A mass grave not far from the camp formerly occupied by the French force, Barkhane.Named after the French operation against jihadists in the Sahel. The state of advanced decomposition of the corpses indicates that this mass grave existed long before the handover. Thus, the responsibility for this act can in no way be attributed to FAMa”The staff added. And the Malian military judiciary announced, on Tuesday, the opening of an investigation “to highlight” distance Discovery of a mass grave in Jossi. According to the Prosecutor of the Bamako Military Court: “Public opinion will be regularly informed of the progress of the investigation, and its results will be made public.”.

Read also: In Mali, jihadists claim to have “captured” a Russian from the Wagner Group

Mali has been mired since 2012 in a deep security crisis that the deployment of foreign forces could not solve, and has experienced two military coups since August 2020. The ruling military junta in Bamako has gradually approached Moscow at the same time as it was moving away from France, and militarily involved in the country against jihadists since 2013. Thus, Mali has drawn great attraction for what it presents as “coaches” From Russia, while Westerners (Paris and Washington in particular) denounce the presence in a country mercenaries From the Russian private collection Wagner, which the Malian colonel vehemently denies.

Against the background of the diplomatic crisis with Bamako, Paris announced in February the withdrawal of its soldiers deployed in Mali, a process to be completed this summer. On April 8, the head of French diplomacy, Jean-Yves Le Drian, questioned the account of the Bamako authorities they claim to have “neutralize” 203 jihadists at the end of March in Mora (central Mali) where Human Rights Watch accuses Malian soldiers backed by foreign fighters of summary execution of about 300 civilians. Since then, the United Nations Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) has asked Bamako, unsuccessfully, to be able to go there to be able to investigate in order to determine what really happened in Mora.

Read also Le Monde’s editorial: In Mali as in Ukraine, those responsible for war crimes must be brought to justice

The world with AFP

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