Malian Foreign Affairs Minister Abdoulaye Diop addressed the media after talks in Berlin and said that Mali was very keen on getting foreign help to get their economy in the right track. He spoke about the security situation in the country and how pockets of the country and still not ready enough to let proper elections happen. Morocco has shown keen interest in helping Mali meets its needs to establish a functional economy and respected democracy.
Mali’s peace remains fragile. In August 2020, the President of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, was forced to resign. He was overthrown by a military coup after months of protests amid economic turmoil. The upcoming February 2022 election is supposed to mark Mali’s path towards a democratic future and political stability.
Mr. Diop is seeking support in order to ensure the election proceedings do not fall apart. Speaking in front of his Moroccan counterpart Nasser Bourita, the Malian foreign minister stated how his new transitional government is seeking allies to help improve its security situation, especially in the north. Referring to Morocco’s long-standing friendship with Mali, foreign minister Bourita referred to the seventeen agreements signed during the Sovereign’s visit in 2014 and how they constitute a solid base for cooperation in all fields and a desire to strengthen relations between our two countries.
In the past week, insensitive comments from French PM Emmanuel Macron have left Mali feeling hurt and disturbed. France has been supporting the Sahel region since 2013. Mali was once a French colony until 1960 when it gained its independence.
France withdrew partial protection from the Sahel region, leaving the country vulnerable to internal extremists and possible western influence to civil wars.
Meanwhile, factions in the Sahel state have shown interest in creating an alliance with Russian mercenaries. France hasn’t been happy with this either.
Last month, in the UN Security Council Meeting, Mali’s interim prime minister Choguel Kokalla Maiga did also accused France of a ‘sort of abandonment in full flight’ over its decision to reduce its military deployment in the semi-arid Sahel region.
The war of words continued, when Macron called on Mali’s ruling military to restore state authority in large areas of the country abandoned in the face of the jihadist insurgency. The foreign minister had later summoned the Ambassador to France to communicate those French authorities needed to show restraint, avoiding value judgements,’, adding that Mali wanted a ‘constructive approach based on mutual respect.