What's my point here? French and other global north countries have had an intermittent interest in African countries such as Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, and by extension Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad and Sudan. Take for example the 2011 revelation by Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saif Al-Islam, when President Sarkozy of France supported the Libyan rebels fighting Tripoli from Benghazi, that Libya had supported Sarkozy’s 2007 election campaigns. Al-Islam demanded that their former colonial master repay Libya millions of dollars used to fund the campaigns.
Libya was not the only African country whose resources were used to fund exorbitant political campaigns in France. Horace Campbell, professor of African American Studies and Political Science at Syracuse University in New York, records in his book, Global Nato and the Catastrophic Failure in Libya that Libya, the Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon resources were used to fund French conservative party campaigns in 2007 in which Sarkozy won.
It is on record that immediately Sarkozy was elected, Gaddafi visited Paris between December 10 and 15, 2007. The visit surprised even the France Foreign Affairs minister Bernard Kouchner and Secretary of State on Human Rights, Rama Yade; both accused Gaddafi of human rights violations. With this pressure, Sarkozy had to turn his back against Gaddafi who had used Libyan resources to fund campaigns in Paris.
After reading all the sensational descriptions of the August 18, 2020, military coup in Mali, I realise like many others, nothing has changed. Mali had experienced protests for three months, with citizens calling for the resignation of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita over a floundering economy, corruption and harassment of radical citizens.
Keita's government, which had close relations, with France hang onto power—and France undoubtedly wished Keita well. As long as the Malian government remained faithful to its colonial master; it had all licence to ride on a dithering economy against the will of its citizens.
Notably, thousands of Mali citizens celebrated his ouster by the military. The Mali opposition leader praised the takeover calling it ‘the Malian people’s victory’. Moreover, a?civil society organisation in West Africa saw the coup as a warning to other African leaders such as President Alpha Conde of Guinea, and Alassane Ouattara of Ivory Coast who are facing similar insurgencies from civil society and the people.
That aside, there is a global condemnation of the military takeover of Mali including by the UN, US, and the EU. They have all called for the release of Keita and other government officials detained by the junta.
Finally, most dictators come to power through military takeovers. We can bank on the fact that Paris military cooperation and security agreements breed grounds for a militia that destabilise constitutional democracies and civilian rule in most of West Africa. Amid all these, why is the international community only condemning the end while ignoring the means?