The Facts

  • On Mon., Mali's military government announced it had terminated all military cooperation treaties with France, condemning "flagrant violations" of Mali's national sovereignty by French forces deployed in the country.

  • Apart from the French-led anti-jihadist "Operation Barkhane," the Malian transition authorities' decision also extends to the French-led European Task "Force Takuba."

The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

The West should step up in Africa, drive a wedge between Russian and Chinese influence, and work to better the lives of millions on the continent. Right now, Russia is sweeping in and capitalizing on waning French and American power. African states are frustrated by the West's bumbling counterterrorism policies, and Russia brings weapons, contractors and autocrat-friendly business dealings to the table.

Establishment-critical narrative

It's understandable that the Malians have had enough and are looking at other options. The obscure fight against terrorism and the concern for democracy serve France only to continue to exercise control over the natural resources of its former colonies in Africa. With its neo-colonial strategy France gambles away any remaining credibility.

Narrative C

ISIS-affiliated groups are preying on the entire continent. The nations of Sub-Saharan Africa must rise up together to fight instability, extremism, and poverty. Foreign powers are no help and only make matters worse.

Establishment split



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