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As relations fray, Mali accuses France of splitting country, spying

By Reuters | Feb 8th 2022 | 1 min read
Interim Prime Minister Choguel Maiga named transitional prime minister attends the inauguration ceremony of Colonel Assimi Goita the new interim president in Bamako, Mali, June 7, 2021. [Reuters]

Mali has accused France's military of deliberately dividing the West African country and of committing espionage during its fight against Islamist militants, in the latest verbal volley that has seen relations spiral in recent weeks.

Choguel Maiga, appointed interim Prime Minister following a coup last year, did not provide evidence for his claims, made during a meeting with global diplomats on Monday evening to which the media was also invited. French officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

Maiga's remarks will further fray tensions between Mali and its former colonial ruler France, whose 9-year counter-insurgency strategy in the Sahel region is unravelling as popular opposition to its military presence grows. Maiga said the arrival of French troops in 2013 divided the country.  

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