Mali expels the French ambassador and gives him 72 hours to leave, and Paris renews its commitment to fighting terrorism

مالي تطرد سفير فرنسا وتمهله 72 ساعة للمغادرة وباريس تجدد التزامها بمحاربة الإرهاب  طلبت الحكومة المالية، اليوم الاثنين، من سفير فرنسا في باماكو مغادرة أراضيها في غضون 72 ساعة، ونددت بما وصفتها بالتصريحات المسيئة لها من قبل مسؤولين فرنسيين، ومن شأن هذا التطور أن يؤثر على مستقبل الوجود العسكري الفرنسي في هذا البلد الواقع غربي أفريقيا.  وقالت الحكومة، في بيان تلاه التلفزيون الرسمي، إنه تم استدعاء السفير الفرنسي جويل ميير من قبل وزير الخارجية والتعاون الدولي المالي لإبلاغه بالقرار.  وفي باريس، أعلنت الخارجية الفرنسية أنها أخذت علما بطرد سفيرها من مالي وقررت سحبه.  محاربة الإرهاب وجددت الخارجية الفرنسية -في بيان- عزم باريس على مواصلة محاربة الإرهاب بمنطقة الساحل الأفريقي، مؤكدة تضامنها مع شركائها الأوروبيين، وخاصة الدانمارك، بعدما طردت السلطات المالية كتيبتها الخاصة التي كانت تعمل ضمن القوة الأوروبية هناك.   وأعربت الخارجية الفرنسية عن تضامنها مع المجموعة الاقتصادية لدول غرب أفريقيا، التي طرد ممثلها من مالي أيضا، وجددت التزامها بدعم الاستقرار والتنمية بالساحل الأفريقي.   علاقات متوترة وتأتي هذه الخطوة وسط توتر شديد في العلاقة بين فرنسا والمجلس العسكري الحاكم في مالي، عقب تأكيدات فرنسية وغربية بتعاقد سلطات باماكو مع مجموعة "فاغنر" الروسية المتهمة بالتورط في صراعات في دول عدة، بينها سوريا وليبيا وأفريقيا الوسطى.  كما تأتي هذه الخطوة بعد تصريحات لوزير الخارجية الفرنسي جان إيف لودريان اتهم فيها مرتزقة فاغنر بـ"نهب" مالي التي تنتشر فيها قوات فرنسية ضمن قوة لمكافحة الإرهاب في منطقة الساحل تضم 5 آلاف جندي وينتظر أن يتقلص عددهم خلال العام الجاري إلى 3 آلاف جندي.   ووصف لودريان الحكومة المالية الحالية التي يقودها العسكريون بغير المسؤولة وغير الشرعية، وكان قد اتهم مجموعة فاغنر بـ"دعم" المجموعة العسكرية التي تسعى "للاستحواذ على السلطة" في مالي بذريعة مكافحة الجماعات المسلحة.  وردا على تصريحات لودريان، قال وزير خارجية مالي عبد الله ديوب إن بلاده طلبت مراجعة اتفاقيات التعاون الدفاعي والأمني مع فرنسا، مضيفا أنه لا يستبعد "أي شيء" يما يخص مستقبل العلاقة بين باماكو وباريس.  وينفي المجلس العسكري الحاكم في مالي وجود مرتزقة فاغنر في البلاد، ويقول إن الأمر يتعلق بوجود مدربين روس على غرار المدربين الأوروبيين.  يذكر أن فرنسا تدخلت عسكريا في مالي عام 2013 عقب سيطرة مجموعات مسلحة على أجزاء من البلاد، والعام الماضي أخلت القوات الفرنسية عددا من القواعد العسكرية في مالي ضمن خطة لتقليص وجودها بمنطقة الساحل.    Mali expels the French ambassador and gives him 72 hours to leave, and Paris renews its commitment to fighting terrorism  Today, Monday, the Malian government asked the French ambassador in Bamako to leave its territory within 72 hours, and condemned what it described as offensive statements by French officials, and this development would affect the future of the French military presence in this West African country.  The government said, in a statement read by state television, that the French ambassador, Joel Meyer, had been summoned by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Financial Cooperation to inform him of the decision.  In Paris, the French Foreign Ministry announced that it had taken note of the expulsion of its ambassador from Mali and decided to withdraw it.  Fight against terrorism In a statement, the French Foreign Ministry renewed Paris' determination to continue fighting terrorism in the African Sahel, stressing its solidarity with its European partners, especially Denmark, after the Malian authorities expelled its special battalion that was working within the European force there.  The French Foreign Ministry expressed its solidarity with the Economic Community of West African States, whose representative was also expelled from Mali, and renewed its commitment to supporting stability and development in the African coast.  Strained relationships This step comes amid severe tension in the relationship between France and the ruling military junta in Mali, following French and Western assurances that the Bamako authorities contracted with the Russian "Wagner" group accused of being involved in conflicts in several countries, including Syria, Libya and Central Africa.  This step also comes after statements by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in which he accused Wagner's mercenaries of "looting" Mali, where French forces are deployed as part of an anti-terror force in the Sahel, comprising 5,000 soldiers, and it is expected that their number will shrink this year to 3,000 soldiers.  Le Drian described the current Malian military-led government as irresponsible and illegitimate, and had accused the Wagner Group of "supporting" the military group that seeks "to seize power" in Mali under the pretext of fighting armed groups.  In response to Le Drian's statements, Malian Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop said that his country had requested a review of defense and security cooperation agreements with France, adding that he did not rule out "anything" regarding the future of the relationship between Bamako and Paris.  The ruling military junta in Mali denies the presence of Wagner mercenaries in the country, and says that it is related to the presence of Russian trainers similar to the European ones.  It is noteworthy that France intervened militarily in Mali in 2013 after armed groups took control of parts of the country, and last year the French forces evacuated a number of military bases in Mali as part of a plan to reduce their presence in the Sahel region.

Mali expels the French ambassador and gives him 72 hours to leave, and Paris renews its commitment to fighting terrorism


Today, Monday, the Malian government asked the French ambassador in Bamako to leave its territory within 72 hours, and condemned what it described as offensive statements by French officials, and this development would affect the future of the French military presence in this West African country.

The government said, in a statement read by state television, that the French ambassador, Joel Meyer, had been summoned by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Financial Cooperation to inform him of the decision.

In Paris, the French Foreign Ministry announced that it had taken note of the expulsion of its ambassador from Mali and decided to withdraw it.

Fight against terrorism
In a statement, the French Foreign Ministry renewed Paris' determination to continue fighting terrorism in the African Sahel, stressing its solidarity with its European partners, especially Denmark, after the Malian authorities expelled its special battalion that was working within the European force there.

The French Foreign Ministry expressed its solidarity with the Economic Community of West African States, whose representative was also expelled from Mali, and renewed its commitment to supporting stability and development in the African coast.

Strained relationships
This step comes amid severe tension in the relationship between France and the ruling military junta in Mali, following French and Western assurances that the Bamako authorities contracted with the Russian "Wagner" group accused of being involved in conflicts in several countries, including Syria, Libya and Central Africa.

This step also comes after statements by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in which he accused Wagner's mercenaries of "looting" Mali, where French forces are deployed as part of an anti-terror force in the Sahel, comprising 5,000 soldiers, and it is expected that their number will shrink this year to 3,000 soldiers.

Le Drian described the current Malian military-led government as irresponsible and illegitimate, and had accused the Wagner Group of "supporting" the military group that seeks "to seize power" in Mali under the pretext of fighting armed groups.

In response to Le Drian's statements, Malian Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop said that his country had requested a review of defense and security cooperation agreements with France, adding that he did not rule out "anything" regarding the future of the relationship between Bamako and Paris.

The ruling military junta in Mali denies the presence of Wagner mercenaries in the country, and says that it is related to the presence of Russian trainers similar to the European ones.

It is noteworthy that France intervened militarily in Mali in 2013 after armed groups took control of parts of the country, and last year the French forces evacuated a number of military bases in Mali as part of a plan to reduce their presence in the Sahel region.

Kenya : au moins 10 morts dans l'explosion d'un bus  Au Kenya, au moins 10 personnes sont mortes lundi au cours de l'explosion d'un minibus. Le véhicule a roulé sur un engin explosif dans le nord-est du pays près de la frontière somalienne.  Le drame s'est produit sur une autoroute à moins d'une dizaine de kilomètres de la ville de Mandera. Selon plusieurs témoins qui ont pu secourir les nombreux blessés le bilan pourrait s'alourdir dans les prochaines heures.  "Le bus venait d'Arabie et se dirigeait vers Mandera" a expliqué à la télévision le commandant de la police régionale, Bunei Rono. "A quelques kilomètres de son terminus, le véhicule a roulé sur un engin explosif caché sur la route. Des agents de sécurité qui se trouvaient à environ 200 mètres du lieu de l'explosion ont pu rapidement apporter les premiers secours et évacuer les blessés et aussi les victimes."  Le directeur des services de santé du comté, Abdi Maalim, a déclaré que l'hôpital central du comté de Mandera avait reçu sept corps sur les lieux et 13 patients blessés, dont quatre dans un état critique. Les treize patients blessés "reçoivent un traitement en ce moment", a-t-il ajouté.  Un suspect arrêté Un suspect a été arrêté en relation avec l'explosion et l'individu sans nom était toujours interrogé. Selon la police, l'attentat aurait été perpétré par un gang de six personnes qui auraient fui vers la frontière ; sans doute des extrémistes al-Shabab opérant dans la région après avoir traversé la Somalie voisine.  Un drame similaire s'était produit dans la région en mars 2021. Après une alerte française et allemande sur de possibles attaques, le Kenya avait renforcé sa sécurité en fin de semaine dernière.    Kenya: at least 10 dead in bus explosion  In Kenya, at least 10 people died Monday during the explosion of a minibus. The vehicle ran over an explosive device in the northeast of the country near the Somali border.  The tragedy occurred on a highway less than ten kilometers from the town of Mandera. According to several witnesses who were able to help the many injured, the toll could increase in the coming hours.  "The bus was coming from Arabia and heading towards Mandera," regional police commander Bunei Rono told television. "A few kilometers from its terminus, the vehicle ran over an explosive device hidden on the road. Security officers who were about 200 meters from the site of the explosion were able to quickly provide first aid and evacuate the injured and also the victims."  County Health Services Director Abdi Maalim said Mandera County Central Hospital received seven bodies at the scene and 13 injured patients, four of them in critical condition. The 13 injured patients "are receiving treatment right now" , he added.  Suspect arrested A suspect was arrested in connection with the explosion and the unnamed individual was still being questioned. According to the police, the attack would have been perpetrated by a gang of six people who would have fled towards the border; presumably al-Shabab extremists operating in the area after crossing into neighboring Somalia.  A similar tragedy occurred in the region in March 2021. After a French and German alert to possible attacks, Kenya reinforced its security at the end of last week.

Kenya: at least 10 dead in bus explosion


In Kenya, at least 10 people died Monday during the explosion of a minibus. The vehicle ran over an explosive device in the northeast of the country near the Somali border.

The tragedy occurred on a highway less than ten kilometers from the town of Mandera. According to several witnesses who were able to help the many injured, the toll could increase in the coming hours.

"The bus was coming from Arabia and heading towards Mandera," regional police commander Bunei Rono told television. "A few kilometers from its terminus, the vehicle ran over an explosive device hidden on the road. Security officers who were about 200 meters from the site of the explosion were able to quickly provide first aid and evacuate the injured and also the victims."

County Health Services Director Abdi Maalim said Mandera County Central Hospital received seven bodies at the scene and 13 injured patients, four of them in critical condition. The 13 injured patients "are receiving treatment right now" , he added.

Suspect arrested
A suspect was arrested in connection with the explosion and the unnamed individual was still being questioned. According to the police, the attack would have been perpetrated by a gang of six people who would have fled towards the border; presumably al-Shabab extremists operating in the area after crossing into neighboring Somalia.

A similar tragedy occurred in the region in March 2021. After a French and German alert to possible attacks, Kenya reinforced its security at the end of last week.

Le Burkina Faso suspendu de l'Union Africaine suite au coup d'État Le Burkina Faso suspendu de l'Union Africaine suite au coup d'État  L'Union africaine (UA) a annoncé lundi la suspension du Burkina Faso de toutes ses activités au sein de l'organisation continentale "jusqu'au rétablissement effectif de l'ordre constitutionnel dans le pays", théâtre d'un coup d'État la semaine dernière.  "Le Conseil décide de suspendre la participation du Burkina Faso à toutes les activités de l'UA jusqu'au rétablissement effectif de l'ordre constitutionnel dans le pays", a annoncé dans un tweet le Conseil de Paix et Sécurité, en charge des conflits et questions de sécurité au sein de l'UA.  Le pays avait également été suspendu vendredi des instances de la Communauté économique des États d'Afrique de l'Ouest (CEDEAO), comme d'autres pays ayant récemment connu un coup d'État militaire, la Guinée et le Mali.  Une délégation de chefs de la diplomatie de la CEDEAO doit se rendre dans la capitale Ouagadougou pour s'entretenir avec les membres de la junte, au pouvoir depuis une semaine. Les militaires ont pris le pouvoir le 24 janvier et placé en résidence surveillée le président Roch Marc Christian Kaboré.  Comme ses voisins malien et nigérien, le Burkina Faso est pris depuis 2015 dans une spirale de violences attribuées à des mouvements djihadistes affiliés à Al-Qaïda et au groupe État islamique qui ont fait au moins 2 000 morts et 1,4 million de déplacés.    Burkina Faso suspended from African Union following coup  The African Union (AU) announced on Monday the suspension of Burkina Faso from all its activities within the continental organization "until the effective restoration of constitutional order in the country" , scene of a coup d'etat. last week.  "The Council decides to suspend the participation of Burkina Faso in all AU activities until the effective restoration of constitutional order in the country" , announced in a tweet the Peace and Security Council. , in charge of conflicts and security issues within the AU.  The country was also suspended Friday from the bodies of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), like other countries that have recently experienced a military coup, Guinea and Mali .  A delegation of heads of diplomacy from ECOWAS is due to travel to the capital Ouagadougou to meet with members of the junta, in power for a week. The military seized power on January 24 and placed President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré under house arrest .  Like its neighbors Mali and Niger, Burkina Faso has been caught since 2015 in a spiral of violence attributed to jihadist movements affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group which have left at least 2,000 dead and 1.4 million displaced.

Burkina Faso suspended from African Union following coup


The African Union (AU) announced on Monday the suspension of Burkina Faso from all its activities within the continental organization "until the effective restoration of constitutional order in the country" , scene of a coup d'etat. last week.

"The Council decides to suspend the participation of Burkina Faso in all AU activities until the effective restoration of constitutional order in the country" , announced in a tweet the Peace and Security Council. , in charge of conflicts and security issues within the AU.

The country was also suspended Friday from the bodies of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), like other countries that have recently experienced a military coup, Guinea and Mali .

A delegation of heads of diplomacy from ECOWAS is due to travel to the capital Ouagadougou to meet with members of the junta, in power for a week. The military seized power on January 24 and placed President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré under house arrest .

Like its neighbors Mali and Niger, Burkina Faso has been caught since 2015 in a spiral of violence attributed to jihadist movements affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group which have left at least 2,000 dead and 1.4 million displaced.
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