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Mali: Au Revoir, France

Mali fights to shake off the burden of French colonisation

For more than 20 years now, Al-Qaeda and separatist terrorists have been ravaging the territory of Mali. Hundreds of thousands of Malians were forced to flee violence and terrorist attacks.

Eventually, France volunteered to help its former colony and launched operations; Serval (2013) and Barkhan (2014-2022), to combat and eliminate the jihadists. However, the French military failed to conquer the terrorists entirely; besides, their air raids ended in tragedy.

Diomine Diarra recalls how his village of Bunti came under attack during his wedding ceremony. For Diomine’s family, as well as for thousands of other residents, the French bombings left most people with no other choice than to relocate. ‘Almost everybody in my village moved here. We fled our homes because of the war…It was as if I had lost everything I owned since I was born’, says the refugee. Diomine Diarra and his family has been living in the camp for six years. His home now is a self-made tent that houses him, his wife, and their six children. Because of the potential threat of new French air strikes, Diomine and his family left their fertile land and had to settle in a landfill in Bamako’s suburbs. Now, a small town of a few thousand people have significantly grown, around the piles of rubbish.

After experiencing damaging effects from the French military presence, Malians decided to fight for the withdrawal of French troops and learn to defend themselves against terrorists. ‘So, the people realised that the French authorities adhere to a policy of destabilisation and the plunder of the natural resources and minerals of Mali’, says political activist Aboubacar Sidick Fomba.

The documentary explores how Mali became the first country to leave the French sphere of influence and its impact on the whole continent.