French ambassador expelled from Mali
The military junta in Mali on Monday expelled French ambassador Joël Meyer and gave him 72 hours to leave the country. After taking power the junta cancelled elections planned for February and is now working with the Russian mercenaries of the controversial Wagner Group, which drew criticism from the French Foreign Ministry. Commentators call for a change of strategy.
France should recognise limits of its power
Not only is the expulsion a humiliation, it also shows how France is losing international influence, L'Opinion believes:
“Faced with such a situation, two stances are possible. The first is to adopt an attitude of outraged grandeur by denouncing the unworthiness of the Malian junta or Moscow's hand in the matter. Easy and gratifying. ... The second is more unpleasant, but not necessarily less promising. It consists in clearly recognising the limits of our power and drawing practical consequences by trying to reinvent our foreign policy. We are obviously not there yet. ”
Time to rethink France's role
Given the hostile climate, the former colonial power should change its strategy, France Inter advises:
“France and its European partners will have to revise their measures to take into account the fact that their high visibility is no longer accepted in the absence of tangible results. ... Above all, how can we prevent insecurity from spreading to threatened countries to the south such as Côte d'Ivoire, Togo and Benin? This strategic rethinking is taking place under the worst possible conditions on the ground - and with the inevitable risk that this failure will be politicised in the context of the French presidential elections. From this perspective, jihadist terror has succeeded.”