Q: France is talking about the “unacceptable coup d’état” in Mali. It didn’t use the same words when military officers seized power in Chad this year. How do you explain this difference in tone between the two situations?
A: The establishment of a transitional structure in Chad came about in exceptional circumstances following President Déby’s death in combat during a raid by an armed group from Libya that was aiming to seize power by arms, after presidential elections had just been held on April 11.
France immediately noted the importance of a peaceful transition for a limited period involving a civilian national unity government and an inclusive dialogue allowing for a speedy return to democratically elected institutions. We fully support the initiatives of the African Union, which just decided to establish a vigilant mechanism to support the transition in Chad.
In Mali, military officers have just carried out a new coup against the civilian authorities that had assumed leadership of the transition in September under with the terms approved by ECOWAS and the international community. We reiterate our call for the immediate release of the authorities being detained and the resumption of the normal course of the transition, and we offer our full support to the ECOWAS mediation effort. If it does not succeed, we will impose sanctions on all those who are hindering the transition process, as the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs stated this morning. And the EU said it would do the same.