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Macron asks the Malian junta to approve the French occupation of Mali

 Macron asks the Malian junta to approve the French occupation of Mali

Speaking on Sunday in the Journal du dimanche (JDD), French President Emmanuel Macron arrogantly demanded that the Malian military junta declare its support for the French occupation of Mali.

The eight-year war led by France in Mali and launched shortly after a coup d'état in 2012, was based on a series of neocolonial military dictatorships, in Mali and throughout the Sahel. Macron spoke less than a week after Colonel Assimi Goïta, the junta strongman of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP), arrested interim President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane. He forced them to resign after he had already ousted President Ibrahim Boubakar Keïta in a coup d'état last August.

Macron asks the Malian junta to approve the French occupation of Mali
French President Emmanuel Macron [Sébastien Nogier, Pool via AP].

However, Macron unashamedly told the JDD that France would not remain "alongside a country where there is no longer democratic legitimacy". He shamelessly demanded that the Malian government and people declare their gratitude to its French military occupiers.

“The very people who ask us to intervene militarily do not accept the discourse on their need for France. Because they got used to saying that their problems today are due to the old settlers of yesterday. Of course, colonization left a strong imprint. But I also told the young people of Ouagadougou that their problems today are not linked to colonialism, they are more caused by the bad governance of some and the corruption of others, ”Macron complained.

He spoke to the JDD as anger and disillusionment mounted across the Sahel, as well as in France, over the war, and soon after the bureaucracy of the National Union of Workers of Mali ( UNTM) called off a national strike against the decline in living standards in this already poor country. It was a political action to limit the damage after yet another coup d'état exposed Macron's fraudulent claim that France was intervening in Mali to protect democracy from Islamism.

Last week Washington and European powers made the routine statements condemning the recent coup and threatening economic sanctions. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union have both suspended Mali. "France shares the absolute priority given by ECOWAS to the organization of the presidential election on February 27, 2022," French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Monday.

Taking such poses on democratic values ​​is a disgusting political fraud. France and all the NATO powers maintain close ties with the bloodthirsty Egyptian military junta led by Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. It drowned mass protests of the working class in blood and supported Islamist militias in the wars in Libya and Syria. As for Le Drian, he is infamous not only for his close ties to al-Sisi and other bloody African dictators, but also for helping French presidents select targets for France's extrajudicial assassination program.

Goïta clearly calculated, when he launched his latest coup d'état last month, that Paris would support its junta if it created the conditions for France's war in Mali to continue. Indeed, Macron supported Goïta's coup last year as the only way to continue the war amid growing protests and popular opposition to the French military presence in his former colony.

While making it clear that he was going to work with the Malian junta, Macron gave the JDD a bizarre denunciation of political Islamism in Mali. “Radical Islamism in Mali with our soldiers there? No way! Today there is this temptation in Mali. But if it goes in that direction, I will withdraw, ”he declared.

Macron's comments are surprisingly inconsistent, as the pretext given by Paris to invade Mali in 2013 was to crush the Islamist militias arriving there from Libya. After the NATO war in Libya in 2011, ethnic Tuareg militias and other militias returned to northern Mali with heavy weapons, causing a crisis in Bamako. A coup that overthrew President Amadou Toumani Touré in March 2012 and a French military intervention in Côte d'Ivoire had militarily prepared the French intervention in Mali in 2013 and the deployment of troops in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania and Niger.

It appears that Macron's comment was not intended to seriously suggest that French troops would leave if any Islamist presence was detected in Mali, but was a signal to the Malian junta and also an attempt to politically limit the damage to Mali. address for a French and European audience. While the links of French imperialism with Islamist terrorist networks are an open secret to the ruling elite, Paris intends to keep control of the Malian regime's relations with Islamist groups in order to maintain the political lie that it is present. in Mali to wage a “war on terrorism”.

The junta has not ruled out negotiating with armed jihadist groups, and it also has ties to Islamic preachers in Mali. Goïta has made it clear that he will work with parties, including the Mouvement-Rassemblement des forces patriotiques (M5-RFP) of June 5, 2020, to form a government. He demanded that "the post of Prime Minister return to M5-RFP". Several members of the M5-RFP have expressed their agreement; Choguel Kokalli Maiga, member of M5-RFP and former minister, said: "It went straight to our hearts."

The M5-RFP was the main political organization supporting the CNSP coup in August. He pushed the protests of the young people of Bamako into the deadlock of support for the CNSP. Paris has supported both the M5-RFP and the CNSP in order to block a wider movement of the oppressed masses and Malian youth demanding a departure of French troops. Significantly, the French petty-bourgeois New Party anti-capitalist party also supported the M5-RFF in last year's military coup.

Within the M5-RFP, Imam Mahmoud Dicko, former president of the Islamic High Commission of Mali (HCIM), played an important role. He acted as a mediator between the Malian government and jihadist groups in northern Mali. After supporting Keïta in the 2013 elections, Dicko supported the protests against Keïta in 2019 and 2020. In 2019, he launched the CMAS (Coordination of Movements, Associations and Sympathizers). In June 2020, CMAS joined M5-RFP.

Dicko functions, despite the holding of demonstrations serving as a safety valve to the anger against the French occupation, as a tool of French imperialism. In 2013, he declared that the French intervention in Mali against jihadist groups was not an aggression against Islam, and that France had come to the aid of a people in distress.

In France, Macron is leading an anti-Muslim campaign. It imposes a charter of principles on the Islam of France and promotes an "anti-separatist law" aimed at combating "Islamist separatism", that is to say to prevent any Muslim criticism of the predatory wars of imperialism. French - measures to consolidate a fascist police state government against the working class. There is also growing discontent among French troops in Mali following the increase in attacks by jihadist forces against them. So far, France has lost around 50 soldiers in Mali.

In this context, Macron fears the consequences if Goïta makes Bamako's links with Islamist forces too obvious, exposing him to criticism on his right from anti-Islamic neofascist forces as he tries to represent himself in 2022 despite his massive unpopularity. .

These corrupt and reactionary negotiations underline the need to build a movement in the working class, throughout the Sahel and all of Africa, as well as in France, against the war and for the withdrawal of French troops from Africa.

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