PARIS, 2 June 2021 – The French foreign ministry has reiterated France’s condemnation of the coup in Mali and called for strict adherence to the country’s transition timetable.
“France shares the absolute priority given by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to the presidential elections of 27 February 2022, under the strict conditions outlined by the heads of state and government, in their 30 May statement,” French foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said in a tweet.
ECOWAS, which has dispatched former Nigerian president, Goodluck Jonathan as a mediator to Bamako, has suspended Mali as a member state, disagreeing with the new junta leaders over what is the country’s second coup in nine months.
Col. Assimi Goita arrested, briefly detained and forced both the interim president and prime minister of Mali to resign before declaring himself president.
Le Drian said France backs the establishment by ECOWAS of a transition monitoring committee.
Adherence to the criteria verified by ECOWAS is essential for maintaining international support for Mali, the French foreign minister said.
French President Emmanuel Macron has said Paris would withdraw its troops, seen as critical to the fight against jihadist militants, if the junta in Mali moved towards embracing radical Islam.