By Linda Hall •
Published: 07 Jan 2024 • 14:12
2020 COUP: Malian soldiers and cheering civilians
Photo credit: CC/Mariama Diallo (VOA)
SWEDEN is withdrawing its humanitarian aid to Mali.
Johan Forssel, Sweden’s Foreign Trade and International Development Cooperation minister, told the TV4 broadcaster that the government had based its decision on Mali’s pro-Russian stance and support for Ukraine invasion.
Mali has consistently abstained from votes on UN resolutions condemning the Ukraine war demanding that Russian troops leave Ukraine, and denouncing the illegal annexation of Ukrainian territory. It also voted against a resolution to remove Russia from the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Russia’s influence on the West African country has increased in the wake of a military coup in 2021 when the Malian army overthrew the government. The late Yevgeny Prigozhin’s Wagner mercenary group was noticeably operational in Mali, where it has been of accused of war crimes and notorious looting.
“When we cooperate with other countries, we also want those countries to cooperate with Sweden,” Forssel said to a TV4 interviewer. “But Mali’s military junta instead turns to Russia and supports its full-scale war against Ukraine.”
Forssel went on to say that there were other countries with better conditions for distributing aid than Mali, which Sweden has assisted with 3.5 billion Swedish Krona (€356.8 million) over the last 10 years.
Although humanitarian aid funding will cease, Forssel added, emergency aid including food, water, and medicines would continue.
He also stated that Sweden was rethinking its approach toward international aid to ensure that the countries it cooperated with did not undermine international law or support Russia’s “full-scale offensive against Ukraine.”
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Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share?
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Anyone supporting war should not be funded.
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