12 May 2022 21:02
Against the background of considerable political tensions between Mali and France, a court in Bamako summoned French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. Le Drian’s son Thomas is also under investigation. Both are scheduled to audition on June 20th.
Source: AFP © DOMINIQUE FAGET
An investigating magistrate in Mali, West Africa, has summoned French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian “for damaging public property and other offences”. A complaint had also been filed against Le Drian’s son Thomas, according to a statement published on Thursday by the court in the capital Bamako. Le Drian and his son are said to be auditioning on June 20th.
According to the court, the Malian movement Maliko filed a complaint in February. The coalition of several civil society organizations accused Jean-Yves and Thomas Le Drian of being involved in contracting a French company to produce Malian passports. Further information on the allegations was not initially known on Thursday.
The subpoena comes at a time of significant political tensions between Mali and France. The state leadership, which has been in power since a coup in May 2021, now only wants to hold elections in up to five years. In addition, the transitional government maintains close contacts with Russia and in December 2021 mission Russian military instructors in the country admitted. For its part, the former colonial power France announced an end to the anti-terrorist fight in Mali and a coordinated withdrawal of around 4,300 soldiers. As a result of the military coup, the EU training mission EUTM, in which the Bundeswehr was also involved, was put on hold. The German participation in the UN stabilization mission MINUSMA in Mali wants to shift its focus of operations to neighboring Niger.
A number of armed groups are active in the Sahel region, which stretches south of the Sahara from the Atlantic to the Red Sea. Some have pledged allegiance to the terrorist groups “Islamic State” and al-Qaeda.
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