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Mali has asked the UN Security Council for an emergency meeting to stop what it describes as “acts of aggression” by France in the form of violations of its sovereignty, support for jihadist groups and spying.
A letter serving this purpose was presented to journalists by the Malian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday addressed by the head of diplomacy, Abdoulaye Diop, to the Chinese presidency of the Security Council.
Mali “reserves the right to use self-defense” if French actions persist, in accordance with the UN Charter, the minister said.
The letter is dated August 15, the date of the departure of the last French soldier in Mali after nine years of engagement against the jihadists.
The junta in power in Mali since the August 2020 putsch has turned away from France and its allies to Russia.
Mr. Diop denounced in the letter the “repetitive and frequent violations” of the national airspace by French forces and the flights of French aircraft engaged in “activities considered as espionage” and attempts “to intimidate”.
Malian authorities have “several pieces of evidence that these flagrant violations of Malian airspace were used by France to collect intelligence for terrorist groups operating in the Sahel and to drop arms and ammunition to them,” the text added.
French authorities are yet to respond to these accusations.