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Assisi Goïta’s Response to Emmanuel Macron at the Africa-France Summit

Mali is criticizing French unilateral decisions and will now hire paramilitaries from the Russian firm Wagner

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FRANCE: Emmanuel Macron has recently suffered inconveniences in diplomatic and military agreements, and his policy has also been widely criticized in relation to the Africa-France “decolonization.” On the sidelines of the Africa-France summit in Montpellier, the conflict took on another dimension as Transitional President Assimi Goïta announced that he will now rely on mercenaries, protesting the infantilization of Mali and “the deceptive and unhealthy nature of the deployment of French soldiers in Mali.”

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Assimi Goïta addressed the French president, announcing that Mali now prefers to know exactly who they are collaborating with. Openly admitting that he no longer trusts the French army deployed in Mali, Goïta added, “It is neocolonialism that continues. Malians today have no visibility in relation to this French military presence in the Republic of Mali. There is much left unsaid. As France had already decided to change its methodology and strategy, without prior consultation, we prefer to have mercenaries today than to have enemies veiled as friends.”

Bluntly speaking to the French President Emmanuel Macron, he tried to clarify further: “I am talking about French politics at the moment, we say ‘no’ and we will assume this position until the end. Now, it is up to us to decide who can stay, who cannot stay. The French must go. They abandoned us … We say that it is no longer their turn to tell us that they are going to go. People will simply ask them to leave.”

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Later on Tuesday, Mali’s Foreign Ministry said that Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop had summoned the French ambassador to inform him of the Malian government’s “outrage and disapproval” of Macron’s comments.

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