France suspends joint military operations with Malian forces,

France said Thursday it will suspend joint military operations with Malian forces after the country’s second coup in nine months, “awaiting guarantees” that civilians will return to positions of power.

The decision comes after Mali’s military strongman Assimi Goita, who led last year’s coup, ousted the country’ civilian transitional president and prime minister last week in what French leader Emmanuel Macron has called a “coup d’etat in an unacceptable coup d’etat”.

The move sparked diplomatic uproar, prompting the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to suspend Mali. France’s armed forces said Thursday that “requirements and red lines have been set by ECOWAS and the African Union to clarify the framework for the political transition in Mali”.

“While awaiting these guarantees, France has decided to suspend, as a temporary measure, joint military operations with Malian forces and national advisory missions for their benefit,” the ministry said in a statement seen by AFP. […]

The Barkhane force, which was launched after France intervened to fend off a jihadist advance in Mali in 2013, will continue to operate but on its own for the moment, the ministry said. However the French-led Takuba force, launched in March 2020 to enable European special forces to train Mali’s army to fight jihadists, will be suspended. Läs artikel