After the announcement by Paris of the cessation of development aid, the military junta of Mali decided to prohibit NGOs funded by France from working on its territory.
Non-governmental organizations funded by France will no longer be able to carry out activities in Mali until further notice. This was announced by the ruling junta last Monday. Are concerned "all the activities carried out by NGOs operating in Mali with funding or with the material or technical support of France, including in the humanitarian field", according to the words of the transitional government.
The diplomatic escalation continues. After the suspension by the #France development aid, the #Mali goes further by prohibiting NGOs from activities financed by Paris, condemning even humanitarian aid. People are going to die because of an ego war. pic.twitter.com/8DnFWJdaHv
— Matteo Maillard (@matteomaillard) November 21, 2022
A response in Paris, which decided to suspend development aid. One more step in the deterioration of relations between Mali and France. The French ambassador to Mali had already been expelled and Emmanuel Macron decided to end the Barkhane military operation. This time, it is the entire Malian people who are affected by the French decision to cut development aid.
Paris had not yet formalized this announcement, but the NGO collective Coordination Sud was moved by this cut in budgets. France thus wants to send a clear message: with the Russian paramilitary group Wagner on the spot, Paris will no longer help the Malians. This stoppage of development aid causes, according to Coordination Sud, “the stoppage of essential and even vital activities carried out” in Mali. Or when politics brings people to their knees who have asked for nothing.
The Malian people taken hostage
For those in power in Mali, these NGOs represent “dehumanizing aid organizations for” the Malian people. Half-heartedly, the Malian government accuses the French state of using development aid as a means of blackmailing African leaders.
A response that risks placing a little more, if necessary, Paris on the list of undesirables in Mali. But as when the ECOWAS sanctions were announced, it is not only the power in place that is targeted by the government of Emmanuel Macron but also the Malians.
The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs assures that, “for the record, Mali and its population have benefited each year since 2013 from more than 100 million euros in official development aid and French humanitarian aid”. The NGOs, they regret that the escalation of decisions worsens the situation of "populations in a situation of great fragility or poverty".
On the side of Mali, a civil society official deplores that "the Malian people are taken hostage" by Paris. "The decision is not worthy of Emmanuel Macron and the Quai d'Orsay, who play political politics and seem to have nothing to do with the Malian people," he concludes.