Monday, January 17, 2022

Mali accuses French military of violating airspace, violating sanctions

Mali has accused France of violating its airspace and has threatened unspecified consequences if it happens again.

Mali’s military government on Wednesday condemned France for flying a military plane into the country from Ivory Coast this week.

In a statement, government spokesman Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga on Tuesday called the flight from Abidjan to the city of Gao in Mali a “clear violation” of its airspace.

MAGA also accused the French military aircraft of shutting down communications with Mali’s aviation authorities.

He threatened consequences if the incident was repeated, saying that the government of Mali “will deny any liability relating to the risks to which perpetrators of these practices may expose themselves.”

A French military official, who declined to be named, denied Agence France-Presse’s claims, saying that all procedures were followed and that the flight was approved by Malian authorities.

After gradually withdrawing troops from other bases in northern Mali, French forces maintain a base in Gao to help Mali fight Islamic rebels.

The statement came hours after the West African Aviation Authority accused French military aircraft of violating regional sanctions against Mali.

Dakar, the Senegal-based Aerial Navigation Safety Agency in Africa and Madagascar, also told Mali’s National Civil Aviation Agency that it had not been informed about the flight in advance.

The Economic Community of West African States on Sunday banned transport and trade between member states and Mali after military leaders delayed elections.

The leaders of Mali’s August 2020 coup promised elections in February, but last week announced plans to hold elections in 2026.

France is backing ECOWAS sanctions against Mali and its national airline, Air France, with all flights to Mali suspended until further notice on Wednesday.

Some information in this report Agence France-Presse. came from,

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This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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