The Republic of Mali, Western Africa, has witnessed four military coups since it became a sovereign state in 1960 — free from French control.
Mali has averaged a coup every 2 decades. And also the country has been trying to contain an Islamic extremist insurgency since 2012.
So far to calm the situation, United Nations launched troops including the French, Germans, and soldiers from other countries in 2013.
However, the number of French soldiers in Mali rose above 5,800 last year and no successful milestone has been achieved in stabilising the situation.
This definitely raised doubts among Malians. The true purpose of French support was questioned as people speculate that Paris still views Mali as a French protectorate.
The country now faces serious security challenges. The protest in Bamako calls for the total withdrawal of French troops, and cries for cooperation between Mali and Russia.
According to Pape Diallo, the spokesperson of the group that led the protest, ‘Yerewolo – Debout sur Les Remparts’:
“There are injured Germans, that has saddened us because Germany here is not seen as an occupying force. But they are being manipulated by the French, in fact.
Germany came here with good intentions to protect us from terrorists, but today they find themselves inside the Machiavellian schemes of France.”
The demonstration was sparked after Germany’s defence minister reported that 12 German troops and a soldier from another country were wounded following an attack.
The people fear that things will get worse if the French troops remain and probably increase. One Bakary Coulibaly from a resident said:
“I would be so happy, like at a party, if France quit Mali today. Really. Ever since we trusted them with our security, everything has become worse.”
By Elijah Christopher
Elijah Christopher is a journalist at A New Touch Of Africa, is also a creative writer, a poet, and an IT enthusiast. He contributed to the collaborative poem written in celebration of Edwin Morgan Centenary, the first Glasgow poet laureate and Scottish national poet from the University of Glasgow. He loves meeting people and learning about new places, cultures, events, and lifestyles.