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While the expulsion of the French ambassador to Mali has caused a strong reaction from the French political class, it has also caused a shock within the Malian community in France, which has been living for months to the rhythm of the stormy relationship between Paris and the putschist soldiers in power in Bamako.
“Overall, the Malian community is less supportive of the transitional authorities than Malians living in the country. The vast majority of the diaspora wants peaceful relations between France and Mali., remarks Baïdy Dramé, president of the Superior Council of the Malian diaspora in France, an organization which brings together around fifty associations. This does not sometimes prevent lively debates within the community.
The question of the French military presence, which some Malians say they no longer want, is divisive. “In substance and form, the transitional government did not appreciate the fact that the French army withdrew part of its troops without even warning it and while the terrorist attacks continued”estimates Bréhima Sidibé, president of the Malian students of Ile-de-France until January and currently in master of sciences of the language at the university of Cergy.
“Popular support in the country”
Before the National Assembly, Wednesday February 2, Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Foreign Affairs, reiterated his remarks on the character “illegitimate” of the Malian junta, term at the origin of the expulsion of the ambassador Joël Meyer. ” This legitimacy should not be questioned because the transitional authorities enjoy popular support in the country.assures Bréhima Sidibé according to whom “Malians are grateful for the deployment of the French force but, today, it is no longer obtaining satisfactory results. »
The arrival in Mali of Russian instructors is also hotly debated. “The reduction in French military personnel has forced the Malian authorities to turn to other partners and in particular the Russians who are seen today as “saviors””, continues Mr. Sidibé, who nevertheless hopes that the French army “will remain in Mali but by changing its strategy”.
A reading that is not unanimous. “The military junta did not come to liberate the country but to enrich itself as long as possible, judges another Malian national who wishes to remain anonymous. If she called on Wagner’s Russian mercenaries, it was just to ensure her own safety. »
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