France condemns the ‘coup’ in Mali and threatens EU sanctions

France on Tuesday condemned the deposition of transition leaders in Mali who had been ordered to return to civilian rule after a coup d’état last August.

President Emmanuel Macron called the suspects a “coup” and threatened European Union sanctions.

“We are ready to take targeted sanctions in the coming hours” against those responsible, Macron said in Brussels after a summit of the 27 leaders of the bloc.

Au Mali, ce qui a été conduit par military putschistes est un coup d’État. C’est unacceptable. Not a single prêts à prendre des sanctions ciblées sur les protagonistes.

– Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) May 25, 2021

Earlier, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told parliament in Paris that France was looking for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council – of which France is a permanent member – to discuss the situation.

“France strongly condemns the violent act that took place yesterday in Mali,” Le Drian told parliament.

“We demand the liberation” of President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane after strongman Assimi Goita stripped them of their powers, he said.

“Their security must be guaranteed, as must the immediate resumption of the agreed transition process,” added Le Drian.

He said France would host “the meeting” of the UN Council “this morning time in New York” to “consider the dire situation in Mali.”

Unrest in Mali: what is the impact of the fight against jihadist groups in the region?

Goita’s move marks the latest crisis to hit the sprawling, impoverished West African country, which is already facing a brutal jihadist uprising.

Ndaw and Ouane headed an interim government installed in September with the stated goal of restoring full civilian rule within 18 months.

(AFP)

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