Former French President Hollande: The Wagner Group acts as “neo-colonizers” in Mali

Former French President François Hollande gave an interview to France 24 and RFI on Wednesday, practically 10 years after the launch of Operation Serval, which ousted armed rebels and Islamist militants from northern Mali.

Hollande defended France’s document of navy operations within the Sahel and lamented the arrival of mercenaries from the Russian paramilitary Wagner Group.

Ten years after the launch of France’s Operation Serval in January 2013, which was adopted by the broader Operation Barkhaneh throughout the Sahel, French forces have left Mali, and former President François Hollande lamented seeing a Wagner group of Russian mercenaries “handle to influence a part of [Malian]inhabitants that they are going to shield them higher “from jihadists than France does.

“They (Wagner) are the brand new colonialists,” he stated.

Mali just isn’t safer, however “worse” the Wagner Group has did not make Mali safer, Hollande stated. Because the arrival of the mercenaries, the safety scenario is “worse,” he stated, including that the jihadists have expanded their assaults to southern and central Mali, the place they weren’t current earlier than.

The previous French chief additionally defended the withdrawal of one other French operation in Africa: Operation Sangaris, within the Central African Republic, on the finish of 2016. Confronted with the fixed risk from insurgent teams, President Faustin-Arching Touadera known as in Wagner mercenaries. “Would the presence of France have dissuaded him? I am unsure,” Hollande stated.

He added that it’s as much as the federal government of any nation to resolve its destiny.

An excessive amount of leniency for Chad: After the demise of Chadian President Idriss Deby in April 2021, French President Emmanuel Macron went to N’Djamena to assist the transition led by Common Mohamed Deby, the son of the slain president. Eighteen months later, demonstrations towards his bid to remain in energy had been met with lethal repression, leading to a minimum of 50 deaths in October.

Hollande stated Chad stays a associate in efforts to fight the unfold of jihadism within the area. He added that this might not justify tolerating “very severe violations of human rights, together with towards opponents of the regime”.

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