Mali is Deprived of an Opportunity to Follow Policies Independent of the West

Attempts by the inhabitants of the states of the African continent to throw off the shackles of modern neo-colonialism and pursue a policy independent of the West are being met with active resistance from the very same West.

Another confirmation of this is the recent coup attempt thwarted by the authorities in Mali. Mali’s Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralization stated that on the night of May 11-12, “a group of anti-progressive officers and non-commissioned officers of the army of Mali attempted a coup,” indicating that “these military personnel were supported by a Western state.” Mali’s defense and security forces were able to thwart the attempt “due to their vigilance and professionalism,” according to the statement. The authorities have since tightened control at border checkpoints, as well as at the entrances to the capital Bamako. According to the ministry, the situation is under control, and the detainees “have been handed over to [face] justice.”

While the Malian authorities’ message does not yet explicitly indicate the specific involvement of a particular country in the preparation of this failed coup, nevertheless, the “Western traces” become much clearer if one recalls just a few Mali-related events over recent months.

It is noteworthy that this coup attempt was initiated from outside the country after a series of actions by the Malian government to abandon the dictates of the West. On April 20, fighters from the Malian Army discovered a mass grave near a military base in Gossi used during France’s “Operation Barkhane,” as reported by Malijet. In particular, it was indicated that near the former positions of the French soldiers, many pits were unearthed, which turned out to be filled with charred bodies. Local journalists, having learned about the incident, conducted an independent investigation and found out that the mass grave was directly related to the “Barkhane” contingent. According to Malijet, the Europeans shortly before had kidnapped several civilians in the village of Adiora, near Gossi. The French did not make public the reason behind the detention of these Malians. Local residents, however, said that the detainees never returned home. The civilian population has repeatedly and previously reported the extrajudicial executions of innocent people by fighters from the “Operation Barkhane” contingent. Several women, who wished to remain anonymous, also accused the French of numerous incidents of rape, the publication says.

Various public associations in the region have on occasion demanded an independent international investigation into the crimes of the European military contingent in Africa, including in the vicinity of Gossi. Yet, neither Paris nor the West as a whole has reacted to such appeals, with them clearly trying to sweep all such facts under the rug. Moreover, Paris, wanting to restore its influence in Mali, began to force the controlled media to justify African militants and spread fake news about the local military, trying to shift the blame for what happened from their own subordinates to Russian instructors training military personnel of the National Army of Mali (FAM) with false evidence.

Under these conditions, the Malian authorities were forced to ban French media outlets and permanently suspend Radio France International (RFI) and France 24 in the country.

In early May, the government of Mali additionally decided to denounce an agreement with France on defense cooperation from July 16, 2014 due to “flagrant violations” of the nation’s sovereignty by the French military. In a televised speech on May 3, a representative of the government of Mali mentioned the violation of the republic’s airspace and the unilateral decisions taken by Paris to stop joint operations with Malian forces to combat terrorism and withdraw troops. Mali then withdrew from defense agreements with France and the European Union, in particular, the agreements signed regarding the French military campaign “Operation Barkhane” and the European mission “Takuba” in Mali in 2013 and 2020. This was officially announced on May 3 by Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop.

In continuation of this conflict with the West, the government of Mali announced the nation’s withdrawal from the Group of Five for the Sahel (G5 Sahel), which includes Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, Mauritania, and Mali. At the same time, the Malian government’s press release emphasized that, despite the withdrawal from the G5 Sahel, “the state reaffirmed its unwavering commitment to regional integration and cooperation to achieve goals that meet the basic interests of the African peoples.” It’s not difficult to guess what was behind this step by Bamako. The G5 Sahel was established in February 2014 to maintain a security system in the Western zone of the region to coordinate the fight against international terrorism. This region of late has been the epicenter of acts by radical Islamists, and France and its Western allies began to “coordinate” almost complete cohesion to combat international terrorism here, but without actually making due efforts to significantly reduce the threat from terrorists.

As noted earlier in the pages of “New Eastern Outlook,” the current situation in African countries, especially those in the zone of so-called “French influence” clearly shows that it is France that is considered a destabilizing force in these nations and Africa as a whole. And this opinion is even supported by some French media outlets.

Realizing that in this region France, and other “former metropolises” of Africa, may completely lose their influence and source of neo-colonial income, the West has recently become noticeably more active in “correcting the ruling African elite.” Yet, if earlier activity mainly involved the initiation of “color revolutions,” now, following the events in Mali on May 11, a return to the use of forceful measures to change objectionable governments has begun. The process of increasing the concentration of representatives of Western armed forces on the African continent has begun to take place for the very same purposes.

Otherwise, how else can one explain the US president’s decision to return an American military contingent to Somalia under the specious reason in this instance of “intensifying the fight against terrorism?” Moreover, Washington has already accumulated very significant experience by ostentatiously “demonstrating” the terrorist threat to the public using “Powell test tubes,” or by activating individual terrorist cells with whom the United States has never stopped its secret contacts!

Vladimir Danilov, political observer, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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