France condemns the attacks that took place on January 27 and 28 against the Malian armed forces in Soumpi and Menaka, which led to the death of 18 Malian soldiers.
We stand alongside Mali at this difficult time and extend our condolences to the victims’ families.
France will continue to support Mali’s efforts to combat terrorism and the enemies of peace, by supporting the Malian armed forces and the G5 Sahel Joint Force, which represents a coordinated response by the countries of the region against the terrorist groups.
Q - Dozens of people have been killed in Mali since last week, further demonstrating the ineffectiveness of the peace agreements and the military response in the face of an increasing number of attacks by armed groups. In the current context, what does France want to see on the political front?
A - As with the attacks on January 27 and 28, France condemns this violence by groups that have not signed the peace and reconciliation agreement.
Standing alongside MINUSMA, France is taking part in the international efforts in support of the Malian armed forces and backs the swift operationalization of the G5 Sahel joint force, which represents the most appropriate response to this cross-border threat. This commitment was reaffirmed at the meeting held on December 13 at La Celle-Saint-Cloud.
On the political front, France continues to support the implementation of the peace and reconciliation agreement, which is the only road map leading to lasting stability. It calls on all the parties to promptly implement the commitments they’ve agreed to, with the priority given to the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration process and decentralization. We applaud the recent adoption of a timetable for priority actions and will spare no effort to ensure its implementation.
France is also taking action with respect to development assistance. It is doing so in particular through the Alliance for the Sahel launched on July 2, 2017, to support the emergence of real economic activities for local populations, especially in the most vulnerable regions. This is a crucial part of the efforts to achieve lasting stability.