We stay in Mali – POLITICO
The EU has no intention of leaving Mali, the bloc’s diplomacy chief, Josep Borrell, said Wednesday morning ahead of a meeting in which France is expected to announce its intention to withdraw its counter-terrorism forces from the country. from West Africa.
“They certainly won’t leave Mali,” Borrell told France Inter of the Takuba Task Force, a European multinational band of special operations forces. He added: “We are not going to leave Mali but we cannot stay in a country if the authorities do not want it”.
Amid deteriorating relations between the military government in Mali and its partners on the ground to fight terrorist groups, France is cautiously preparing the groundwork for a withdrawal.
“It seems very difficult to maintain a commitment to the fight against terrorism” in Mali, an Elysee official said on Tuesday, following multiple statements by ministers alluding to the same idea.
The EU’s missions are distinct from the counter-terrorist operations carried out by France.
Borrell is in Paris on Wednesday evening to have dinner with French President Emmanuel Macron as well as leaders and representatives from European and African countries. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel will also be present. The dinner precedes a two-day EU-African Union summit in Brussels.
“Jihadism is not a pathology of human beings. It is also not a plant that grows in the wild. It’s a response to socio-economic circumstances, it’s a complex phenomenon,” Borrell said.
He added: “We must fight against jihadism, we must also fight against social injustice, against inequalities, against bad governance. And it’s up to the Africans themselves to do it, it’s not us Europeans who are going to take on this role.