The Malian authorities’ decision to prohibit all organisations supported or funded by France has evoked diverse reactions.
The prohibition has heightened tensions between Mali and France following the withdrawal of all French personnel from its territory.
A lot of Malians have backed the idea, claiming that it will usher in a new era of self-sufficiency free of international meddling.
“On the contrary, it is us who are helping France, it is of no help here. I wonder in which sector France helps Mali. Not only with the NGOs, that they don’t set foot here again. We are autonomous,” a Bamako resident said.
“You have to get rid of the idea of addiction. The Malian has become hybrid here is the whole problem. We can indeed do without French funding. On the contrary, all the raw materials come from us, then these products are transformed at home and then come back to help us with them. If we manage to hold on, it will be up to France to come and ask for help,” another resident said.
Frances foreign minister had last week said they would maintain its humanitarian aid as well as financing for “civil society organisations” in Mali, a decision that now sits in limbo.
The West African nation’s interim Prime Minister Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga justified the move in a statement on social media, calling it a response to France’s recent halt to development aid for Mali.
The French foreign ministry said last week it had made the decision, which came three months after finalising its pull-out of anti-jihadist forces from the country, over Bamako’s alleged use of paramilitaries from Russian group Wagner.
Bamako denies this, acknowledging only the support of Russian military “instructors”.
Maiga spoke in his statement of “fanciful allegations” and “subterfuge intended to deceive and manipulate national and international public opinion for the purpose of destabilising and isolating Mali”.
“As a result, the transitional government has decided to ban, with immediate effect, all activities carried out by NGOs operating in Mali with funding or material or technical support from France, including in the humanitarian field,” it said.