On August 14, many residents of Gao, in northern Mali, took part in the anti-French rally. The participants in the demonstration carried posters demanding the definitive withdrawal of the French from Malian soil: « Barkhane godfather and ally of terrorist groups », « No foreign power will make Mali its booty », « Barkhane go away ». This event is one of many that have taken place over the past year, both in Mali and elsewhere in West Africa. Civil society representatives in Gao also issued a 72-hour ultimatum to French soldiers to leave the city.
Abdoul Karim Samba, spokesperson for the civil society of Gao, commented on the reason for organizing the rally for Anadolu Agency: « Considering the heavy involvement of French forces in the terrorist attacks in the three-border region, particularly in the last in Tessit, in the circle of Ansongo, having killed 42 Malian soldiers, we, bowing to the memory of all civilian and military victims of this situation of generalized insecurity, have decided to organize a series of demonstrations against the presence of the French forces of Barkhane in the towns of Gao and Ansongo. »
The demonstrators also added: « The French Force Barkhane, in its paternalistic and neo-colonialist mission, leads and tries to lead a campaign and disinformation with international organizations, but also to lead a campaign of intoxication and division between organizations and civil society movements and within the entire population of the Gao region ».
Also, on August 12, residents of Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, rallied against the presence of the French army in the country. However, the protest was brutally dispersed by local police, who used tear gas against the participants.
Over the past year, anti-French sentiment has risen sharply in various African countries. The negative attitude towards France in Africa is most often associated with its hostile attitude towards Mali, as well as the neocolonial policies of Paris.