France Halts Development Aid to Mali

France Halts Development Assistance to Mali (News Central TV)

According to French media reports and representatives from the Foreign Ministry, France stopped providing development aid to Mali on Thursday due to the presence of Wagner mercenaries from Russia.

It is believed that funding for a few non-governmental organisations and humanitarian aid to Mali will continue.

According to media sources, the decision was taken two to three weeks ago, and various non-governmental organisations wrote to French President Emmanuel Macron to express their disapproval of the choice.

France provided Mali with $490 million in aid between 2013 and 2017 through the French Development Agency (AFD).

Mali, which is home to 20 million people, is ranked 186 on the UN‘s 2021 Human Development Index and has acknowledged that it need aid because 40% of its population is in need.

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The nation has had five military coups since achieving independence from France in 1960 and has been the target of terror groups with ties to al-Qaeda and Daesh since 2011.

Despite efforts to keep diplomatic ties with France open throughout military governments, after the coups of 2020 and 2021, the two nations drifted apart.

This comes after Ivory Coast said in a letter to the United Nations that it would progressively withdraw its military and police support from a United Nations peacekeeping operation in Mali.

Mali claimed that the soldiers were mercenaries. They allegedly worked as a security and logistics component for the peacekeeping mission, and Ivory Coast has repeatedly pleaded 

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According to a letter from the Ivory Coast to a senior U.N. peacekeeping official dated November 11, the Ivory Coast told the U.N. that it has stopped rotating soldiers and will not be replacing personnel in the peacekeeping mission in Mali, MINUSMA, in August 2023.

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