Mali PM Maiga says foreign forces must seek agreement before deploying

3 months ago 366

Mali's Interim Prime Minister Choguel Kokalla Maiga said foreign forces will need to be agreed by the government before deploying after it asked Denmark to take back its special forces.

Bamako on Monday asked Denmark to take home its contingent of hundreds who were recently deployed to the country to take part in a French task force intended to accompany Malian soldiers against Jihadist groups.

"We told the Danes 'If you want to come to Mali then it's an agreement between the Danes and the Malians'. We will no longer accept that people come to our country. Above all when they say they will put in place a standby force. Why are they coming? Are they not coming to prepare something against our country. So we will not accept this. That's why we have asked the Danes to go home," said Choguel Kokalla Maiga, the Malian interim Prime Minister.

The force, whose deployment was announced in April 2021, is stationed in Menaka in eastern Mali. Its mandate was due to run until early 2023. The Malina government insisted forces will no longer enter its territory through proxies.

"Nobody will come here by proxy anymore. That used to happen. But now it's finished. It won't happen any more under the authority of Assimi Goita. If someone has to come to Mali then we will come to an agreement. We will agree on what you will come here to do," said Choguel Kokalla Maiga, the Malian interim Prime Minister.

The new contingent is joining Task Force Takuba -- a 900-troop French-led unit launched in March 2020.

Other contributors are the Netherlands, Estonia, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Italy and Hungary.

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