Demonstrators today gathered in the capital city of Mali, Bamako to demand the withdraw of French military troops. The demonstrators chant slogans, denouncing French troops in their country.
France’s presence in Africa has recently faced strong criticism across the continent.
The current French military operation in Africa has been running since 2014, co-coordinating on security issues with Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso, and Chad.
“The reason we are protesting is that France has being in Mali for seven years but people die, if we had ten difficulties before when France arrived we have 90.” a protester captured on a video complained. He further states that “France came to fight terrorism but now each of us is questioning if indeed it has been fought.”
A female member in the crowd also said France has failed on the purpose that brought them into Mali. “Our feeling is dialing suffering, it is us who called France for help, we called them to help us fight terrorism. Thank God France came ”We thought they came to help but they came to destroy us.”
“If our leaders do not dare to tell them to leave, we will order them out of our country. It is us who elected our leaders. We are saying France’s departure is our will. If they said something in France, it is their wish and not ours.” Another protester said.
The Malian government has since not officially reacted to the demand of the protesters, neither does France.
The presence of foreign troops in Africa continues to raise more questions on the continent.