The Mali government has informed the UN that Islamist Militants in the country have been receiving arms and support from France.
On Tuesday, France withdrew the last of its troops from its former colony.
Their exit from Mali coincided with a letter Mali sent to the UN stating that France helped Islamist militants to destabilize the Sahel country.
France has strongly denied latest accusations from Mali that it has violated its airspace and providing arms to terrorist groups to destabilise the West African country.
Mali made the claims on Monday in a letter addressed to the head of the United Nations Security Council as relations between the two nations further deteriorates.
Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop wrote that the country’s airspace has been breached more than 50 times this year. He cited French troops using drones, military helicopters, and fighter jets.
“These flagrant violations of Malian airspace were used by France to collect information for terrorist groups operating in the Sahel and to drop arms and ammunition to them,” Diop wrote. But he did not elaborate in the letter to the UN Security Council.
Mali risks reputation if it has no proof
Seidik Abba, a journalist and specialist on the Sahel region, says Mali could risk its reputation by making serious claims without evidence.
“If the Malian authorities take this step of going all the way to the Security Council, it is presumed that they have gathered evidence. And if they didn’t gather any, you can imagine how it could be discredited,” Abba said.
“Recently, when there were attacks in Tessit, where 42 Malian soldiers were killed, the Malian authorities had talked about external support, drone overflight, but, they had not provided proof.”
French military support for Mali
Over the past decade, the French military has had a presence in Mali to help its former colony fight jihadis who had destabilized the country.
“France intervened in Mali between 2013 and 2022 at the request of the Malian authorities,” the French embassy in Bamako states on Twitter.
“France liberated many Malian towns which had fallen into the hands of terrorists and neutralized several hundred terrorists in Mali and rendered harmless two historical figures of terrorism in the region.”
France has spent billions of dollars on its military mission to Mali, in which 53 of its soldiers lost their lives,
According to the Sahel specialist, Seidik Abba, the latest banter between the governments of Mali and France “seems completely tricky.”
Mali instists that France colluded with Islamist extremists, providing them with information that was used to destabilize the country.