Keyword: Bamako

France's 'blind support' for Mali's regime blamed for helping trigger coup

A press conference in Bamako given by the soldiers who took power in Mali, August 19th 2020. © MALIK KONATE / AFP A press conference in Bamako given by the soldiers who took power in Mali, August 19th 2020. © MALIK KONATE / AFP

While the authorities in Paris knew that the position of Mali's president Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta was weak, they were not expecting the military coup that led to his resignation on August 18th. France's recent unyielding stance in negotiations between Mali's government and opposition, and its unflagging support for prime minister Boubou Cissé, are meanwhile now being highlighted as potential causes of the current crisis. Some observers say that without France's 'blind' support for the Malian government the soldiers might not have staged the coup at all. Rémi Carayol reports.

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Meanwhile West African leaders ended a day-long summit in Bamako without a consensus on how to alleviate Mali's political troubles. 

Democracy and jihadists top France-Africa summit agenda

The talks between some 30 African states and France, which are being held in Mali's capital Bamako, will also cover the migrant crisis.

Special forces storm besieged Mali luxury hotel

French and US special forces helped Malian troops end siege in Bamako in which up to 27 people were killed.

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Gunmen shouting 'God is great!' have seized control of Radisson Blu Hotel in capital of Mali where French troops intervened in 2013.

Hollande's foreign 'success story' in tatters as Mali heads for partition

Des soldats français de l'opération Barkhane. © Ministère de la Défense Des soldats français de l'opération Barkhane. © Ministère de la Défense

When French troops intervened in Mali in early 2013 the aim was to shore up a faltering regime and help bring stability and strong government to the former colony. Instead just over two years later the African nation seems on the edge of a political catastrophe. There has been a growing number of attacks and armed clashes in the country and the United Nations mission that replaced the French military operation has suffered heavy casualties. Meanwhile there has been little or no political progress domestically as everyone waits for the signature of a peace agreement which will result in a de facto partition of the country. Thomas Cantaloube reports.

French citizen among those killed in Mali attack

Also gunned down in the attack on a restaurant in the capital Bamako was a Belgian security officer with the EU delegation in Mali.

Plus ça change…the stark reality of Mali's bright new future

Bamako, octobre 2014 © Thomas Cantaloube Bamako, octobre 2014 © Thomas Cantaloube

Eighteen months ago Mediapart reported from Mali on its attempts to rebuild itself after France's military intervention to thwart an imminent terrorist takeover. At the time there was cautious optimism within the fractured African country that it could construct a more positive future. Now Mediapart has returned to Mali and the mood is very different. The cautious hopes about the future have largely given way to frustration amid the return of old-style politics and corruption. Meanwhile the country remains under the effective control of international institutions and foreign countries. As Thomas Cantaloube reports from the capital Bamako, the lack of real progress in Mali also symbolises a French vision of foreign affairs that is strong on military intervention but short on political content.