France on June 3 said that it would suspend joint military operations with Malian forces after the West African country’s second coup in nine months, adding to international pressure for the military junta to return civilians to positions of power.
The move came after Mali’s military on May 25 detained interim President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane and stripped them of their powers after a dispute over a cabinet reshuffle, plunging the country into further uncertainty after a military coup in August last year.
Responding to it, the West African grouping Ecowas and the African Union (AU) suspended Mali from their bodies.
“Demands and red lines have been set by ECOWAS and the African Union to clarify the framework for the political transition in Mali. It is up to the Malian authorities to respond quickly,” France’s armed forces ministry said in a statement on June 3.
“Pending these guarantees, France, after informing its partners and the Malian authorities has decided to suspend, as a precaution and temporarily, joint military operations with the Malian forces, as well as national advisory missions that benefit them.”
French troops will continue to operate there independently.