The Air France company announced Wednesday the suspension of its links with Mali “with immediate effect”, after Paris followed suit with ECOWAS to sanction the junta.
“Pursuant to the decisions of the French authorities, Air France is suspending its flights to and from Mali with immediate effect and until further notice,” the French company told AFP.
All flights to and from Bamako canceled
“Consequently, flight AF4142 of January 12 providing the Paris (CDG) -Bamako (BKO) -Nouakchott (NKC) -Paris (CDG) route and flight AF4141 Bamako (BKO) -Paris (CDG) are canceled”, according to the same source.
In addition, “flights to and from Bamako scheduled for the following days will also be canceled. Air France is monitoring the situation in real time and will keep its customers informed of the possibilities of rerouting once the suspension has been lifted “, added the company, stressing that” the customers concerned [étaient] informed individually ”.
Border closures and trade embargo
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) decreed on Sunday the closure of the borders with Mali and a commercial and financial embargo, harshly sanctioning the junta’s plan to continue to lead the country for several years.
France and the United States, important partners of Mali, have followed ECOWAS in this direction. President Emmanuel Macron assured that France and the European Union, of which his country holds the rotating presidency, supported the “very clear and firm position” of ECOWAS in the face of “the junta’s abuses”.
The European Union will take sanctions against Mali
Under French leadership, the European Union will take sanctions against Mali, in line with the vigorous economic and diplomatic measures decided by the West African leaders to sanction the junta’s intention to remain in power, assured Wednesday to AFP Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.
“We are going to offer to support African decisions, to take them over for some of them,” said the French foreign minister in an interview with AFP. “We will discuss it in Brest (north-west of France) tomorrow” during an informal meeting of European defense and foreign ministers “but the most likely hypothesis is that this will be followed”, a- he assured, while France has assumed the rotating biannual presidency of the European Union since January 1.