|Location||West Africa, Africa|
|Member of||African Union, La Francophonie, Organisation of African Unity, UN|
|Former French colony in West Africa|
France training militants
In 2014, France launched its Operation Barkhane in the region, having partnered with local authorities to counter and suppress terrorist groups, including militants linked to Al-Qaeda, and stabilize the situation in G5 Sahel countries
In October 2021, Prime Minister Choguel Kokalla Maiga said Mali has evidence that French forces present in its territory with a mission to counter terrorist groups have been instead training militants. France controls an enclave in Kidal, with Mali having no access there. “They have militant groups there, who have been trained by French officers. We have evidence of that. There is an expression in our language, saying that when you are looking for a needle in your room and someone, said to be helping you in the search, is standing on that needle, you will never find it. So this is the situation happening now in Mali, and we don’t want to bear with it,” Maiga said. While “eight years ago terrorists were present only in the northern part of Mali, in Kidal, now two thirds of the country are occupied by terrorists,” he added.
"The UN Office on Drugs and Crime began warning about transatlantic drug planes after 2 November, 2009, when a burned-out Boeing 727 was found in the desert in Mali. Drug smugglers had flown in from Venezuela, unloaded the aircraft and then torched it, investigators said."
|Document:Mali speech to Belgian Parliament by Laurent Louis MP||speech||17 January 2012||Laurent Louis|