Mali’s transitional government bans the activities of French-funded NGOs

The transitional government in Mali announces the suspension of all activities of non-governmental organizations funded by France, at a time of great tension in relations between Mali and France.

In this regard, the government issued on Monday, November 21, 2022, a statement explaining its decision, which must be implemented immediately, “to prohibit the activities of all non-governmental organizations operating in Mali, with financial or technical support or funding from France, including those working in the humanitarian field”.

The statement added that the transitional government “is informed of France’s announcement on November 16 of the suspension of its aid to development organizations due to false accusations of military cooperation between Mali and Russia”.

The transitional government has indicated that since last February, France has announced the suspension of its humanitarian aid through diplomatic channels. Colonel Maïga, interim prime minister, denounces in his press release “fanciful allegations” and a “subterfuge intended to deceive and manipulate national and international public opinion for the purpose of destabilizing and isolating Mali”.

“Consequently, the transitional government decides to prohibit, with immediate effect, all activities carried out by NGOs operating in Mali with funding or with material or technical support from France, including in the humanitarian field”, he said.

Indeed, Mali has accused the French authorities of using humanitarian aid as a means of “extortion and support for the activities of terrorist groups in Mali”. According to the study report of the Intergovernmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA), the role of NGOs is to finance terrorism through trade and other lucrative activities, smuggling arms, goods and currency (money couriers).

The group showed the fraudulent transactions of an international NGO which was then accused of financing rebel movements in northern Mali. The fact of the financing of armed groups by France was repeatedly mentioned by the former Malian Prime Minister publicly.

Relations between Mali and France, which has deployed more than 5,000 soldiers to fight terrorist organizations on the African coast, have been very tense following the unsatisfactory results of the French forces present in Mali since 2013 as part of the Barkhane mission. The mission was supposed to restore stability to Mali and the Sahel in general, and yet the Malian lands became a place of wealth exploitation by the French soldiers engaged there.

Consequently, the Malian government announced, on May 2, 2022, the termination of the military treaties with France, after the unilateral decision of Paris, to suspend the joint military operations with the Malian army, and to put an end to the operation Barkhane in Mali.

The decision taken by the Malian transitional government is seen as an absolutely timely measure, which would reduce financial support for terrorist groups that have been threatening the country’s public security for several years, and this will allow them to be weakened militarily, which will facilitate the task of eliminate them by the Malian armed forces (FAMAs) which have been growing in strength in recent months