Q: For the first time, Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta has acknowledged the existence of contacts with jihadist groups. What is your reaction? Do you also believe that fighting these groups while at the same time engaging in a dialogue with them is not incompatible, and that such a dialogue could in the long term help end the crisis?
A: The President of Mali has taken certain initiatives in line with the recommendations of the Inclusive National Dialogue.
We are fighting armed terrorist groups in the Sahel at the request of nations in the region, and specifically Mali. This request, and the “shared determination to fight together against terrorist groups,” were renewed at the Pau Summit on January 13.
This collective action in the Sahel is also multidimensional, focusing beyond security on stabilization, development and reconciliation, and taking into account the needs of communities, in order to dry up the sources of recruitment for armed terrorist groups.