Mali: Expectations and Challenges

Mikhail Gamandiy-Egorov
Following the now complete withdrawal of the French military presence from Mali, challenges remain in a context where the former colonial metropolis and other Western regimes do not intend to ease the pressure on the country, which has become another example of a pan-Africanist and pro-multipolar orientation.

After nine years of military presence in Mali, via Operation Serval and then Barkhane, the last French soldiers have left Malian soil via the Nigerian border. While many Malians and many other African citizens have welcomed this news, it is to be believed that the Elysian and Western establishment will not give up and will continue to put maximum pressure on the Malian authorities.

It is important to remember that this withdrawal took place at a time of unprecedented anti-Western sentiment on the African continent, although it is important to add that this rejection of the West does not translate – unlike some Atlanticist regimes in Eastern Europe – into hatred for Westerners. Malian and African wisdom obliges.

This is also happening at a time when Mali has taken the matter to the UN and accused France of supporting terrorists. Malian Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop had indicated that the Government of Mali has several pieces of evidence that the flagrant violations of Malian airspace have been used by France to collect intelligence for the benefit of terrorist groups operating in the Sahel, as well as for the purpose of dropping weapons and ammunition to them.

From this perspective, it is strongly believed that the attempts by Paris and other Western capitals to destabilize Mali will not stop in the near future, despite their flagrant failure in the so-called fight against terrorism and in their multiple attempts to bring down a legitimate government supported by a large majority of Malian citizens.

In this sense, the case of the Central African Republic should simply remind us that before the country regained relative stability, by establishing state authority over the overwhelming part of the national territory, the country had to face countless challenges posed by the former colonizer, in association with other Western regimes. The fight was not easy, but it was won by the power and people of the Central African Republic thanks to joint determination and strategic choices that proved to be right.

Mali must therefore be prepared for a similar scenario as far as it is concerned. That is, to continue the fight against terrorism in an effective and determined manner, to maintain the pan-African orientation of its regional and continental policy, and to strengthen alliances with the main defenders of the international multipolar axis, of which Mali is now an integral part.

It is obvious that after the failures of neo-colonial destabilization in Syria, Venezuela, Iran, Cuba, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Burundi and the CAR, Western Atlanticist hysteria seems to have gone beyond the limits of possibility. And knowing this, the authorities – as well as the population of Mali – will remain in the sights of those nostalgic for the unipolar era. And this until the defeat of the said nostalgists.

It may seem paradoxical, especially to the naïve, that the West rhymes with terrorism, but this is practically unproven. Support for terrorists in Syria, armed groups in the Central African Republic, joint actions with salafist elements in Muammar Gaddafi’s once prosperous Libya, or alliances with pure neo-Nazi representatives as in Ukraine – all prove that a wounded and dying beast will have less and less taboo to show its true face.

Malians seem ready to face these challenges. And with them millions and millions of other African peoples. Indeed, after the CAR, Mali confirms its status as a great source of inspiration for Africa as a whole. And this – the famous Western “analysts” had not foreseen it.