The head of the transitional government Mali, Shogoel Maiga, launched a sharp attack on France, accusing her of training terrorist groups in his country.
The Prime Minister of Mali, in an interview with the Russian “Novosti” agency published Friday, indicated that the terrorist groups operating in his country arrived from Libya after the Libyan state was destroyed at the hands of France and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies.
He added that Mali’s government, when it agreed to cooperate with the French side in the fight against terrorism, asked Paris only to help it with intelligence data and air support, and there was no talk of deploying troops on the ground.
Maiga stated that France adhered to this agreement in the cities of Konna, Gao, and Timbuktu, but prevented the Malian army forces from entering the city of Kidal.
France handed the city over to a movement formed by representatives of the “Ansar El-Dine” movement, which is linked to “Al-Qaeda”.
He said that the Malian government cannot reach Kidal, and it is an enclave under the control of France, and there are armed organizations trained by French officers there.
Mali’s Premier pointed out that there is a saying in Mali’s folklore that goes: “it is impossible to find a needle inside a closed room if one of the participants in the search for it deliberately stands on it.”
He added that this is the situation the transitional government faces now, and it doesn’t understand it neither want to tolerate it.
However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Mali had previously summoned the ambassador of Paris, against the background of “unfriendly statements” made by French President Emmanuel Macron.
Macron announced last July that his country would begin, by the end of the year, to withdraw its forces deployed in the far north of Mali.
Macron noted that the closure of the Barkhane force bases in this region would start from the second half of this year.
The head of the transitional government in Mali had accused France, from the forum of the United Nations General Assembly, of abandoning his country alone in confronting the terrorist groups.