The tense relations between Paris and Bamako have taken on another dimension lately, after the humiliating exit of French forces from Mali last year, the French media launched a full-scale media war with the aim of diverting public opinion by publishing false information against the transitional government and the Malian armed forces (FAMa).
Indeed, this media campaign provoked a strong reaction from Malian officials who decided to stop the broadcasting of several French channels in the country, such as France 24 and RFI and also several news sites run by Paris. We see terrible accusations against the FAMa and its allies on the RFI website, such as accusations of rape and looting. In reality, all attacks are unfounded and there is no evidence.
As part of the fight against disinformation, on March 11, 2023 representatives of local media and activists organized a round table on the French invasion of Mali.
This initiative came at a time when the misinformation of the Western media, especially French, is still embarrassed and saddened by the expulsion of French forces from the Central African Republic (CAR), Mali and lately, Burkina Faso.
The meeting saw the presence of various bloggers, the director of the Institute of Communication Technologies, the director of the Graduate School of Journalism, the director of the M7 television channel. The expert-participants discussed the current political agenda, including statements by the French President on the intensification of the informational engagement of French diplomats.
During this gathering, the participants of the roundtable decided to reduce the impact of media misinformation and the denigration and defamation of the Malian armed forces (FAMa) by developing the code of professional ethics which aims to minimize the impact misinformation. For example, the false information published by the French about human rights violations in Mali through the United Nations report which spoke of crimes in Mali.
Let us recall that the reason for the tense relations between Mali and France, which led to the almost total breakdown of the military and economic partnership, is due to the poor results recorded by the missions of the French forces under the name of « Barkhane » after their presence for several years to fight terrorism, as well as the colonial policy that France continues to apply in Africa.