By Spy Uganda Correspondent
Mali’s military junta on Monday said it was withdrawing from military accords it signed with France nearly a decade ago.
The West African country broke off the agreements it signed in 2014, when then French President Francois Hollande said he had decided to intervene in Mali to fight against Islamist insurgency.
The junta’s announcement had been expected for some time, ever since France and other European partners announced their decision to withdraw from Mali in February after fighting jihadi violence in the country for nearly 10 years.
“For some time now, the government of the Republic of Mali notes with regret a profound deterioration in military cooperation with France,” junta spokesman Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga said in a televised statement.
In announcing its decision in February, France laid the blame on the country’s deteriorating political situation and repeated coups.
There was a surge in violence after France decided to pull troops, with relations between Paris and Bamako deteriorating even further.
Mali’s ruling military junta has condemned “flagrant violations” of its national sovereignty by departing French soldiers.
Government spokesman Maiga cited multiple instances of the French violating their country’s air space.
Maiga also spoke about France’s announcement to end military operations in Mali in June 2021, and its subsequent decision to pull troops earlier in the year.
Malian authorities said they have informed French authorities about their decision.
The French government has not yet reacted to the news.
Last month, Mali accused the French military of spying on a military base in northern Mali, after the French military released what it said was footage of a mass grave there.
France said Malian authorities and Russian-linked mercenaries were trying to accuse French soldiers of committing grave crimes.