By Paul Ejime.
THE decision by France and the United States to suspend military support and cooperation with Mali could add to the growing international pressure on the Col. Assimi Goita-led junta which staged two coups within nine months in the country.
But it also raises concerns over the double standards in international reactions to the military takeover of governments in Mali and Chad.
ECOWAS and the African Union have suspended Mali from membership.
Goita will soon be sworn in officially as Interim President and a new Prime Minister named, expectedly from the M5 opposition movement.
How will Goita react to all these?
His decision to assume the leadership of the transition government after sacking former President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ounane flies in the face of the ECOWAS demand that the transition government should be civilian-led.
But the focus now is on the uninterrupted implementation of the 18-month transition programme set by the junta, including the conduct of elections in February 2022 before handover to elected civilians.
And are there concerns too, by the West that Goita and his colleagues are leaning toward Russia, which is making strong inroads into West Africa?
According to the military intelligence report, Moscow signed a military cooperation agreement with Mali in June 2019, consolidating its ties with the Malian military.
Two of the young officers that staged the 18th August 2020 coup that toppled former President Ibrahim Keita, returned from military training in Moscow before that putsch!
– June 04, 2021 @ 16:49 GMT