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France violated Mali airspace

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 A West African air traffic agency told Mali that a French military plane violated its airspace a Malian airport official said on Wednesday amid confusion over the consequences of regional sanctions on Bamako On Sunday the Economic Community of West African States ECOWAS agreed to close land and air borders with the Sahel state and impose a trade embargo for delaying elections Mali responded by announcing that it would also close its borders to ECOWAS members The sanctions on Mali came after the country s army dominated government proposed last month to stay in power for up to five years before restoring democracy He had previously promised to hold elections on February 27 A document from ASECNA the air traffic agency for much of West Africa posted on social media showed that a French military plane entered Mali s airspace from neighboring Ivory Coast on Tuesday The flight violated the recent suspension of flights between Mali and other ECOWAS member states according to the document Colonel Lassina Togola head of the Mali national airport company confirmed the authenticity of the ASECNA document But he did not respond directly to AFP s questions about how the border closures affected French military movements or those of the UN peacekeepers France has thousands of troops in Mali and neighboring Sahel countries as part of an anti jihadist force The UN also has some 16 500 troops in Mali as part of its MINUSMA peacekeeping operation including 10 700 soldiers according to its website Togola told AFP that the borders between Mali and the ECOWAS countries are closed and that planes cannot travel between them However he added that authorization may be granted at the request of the carrier without offering further details French army spokesman Pascal Ianni said that the closure of the borders does not affect military flights MINUSMA spokesman Olivier Salgado also said that the operations of the UN mission have continued without interruption ASECNA the air traffic agency did not respond to multiple requests for comment Source Credit TheGuardian
France violated Mali airspace

1 A West African air traffic agency told Mali that a French military plane violated its airspace, a Malian airport official said on Wednesday, amid confusion over the consequences of regional sanctions on Bamako.

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2 On Sunday, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) agreed to close land and air borders with the Sahel state and impose a trade embargo for delaying elections.

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3 Mali responded by announcing that it would also close its borders to ECOWAS members.

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4 The sanctions on Mali came after the country’s army-dominated government proposed last month to stay in power for up to five years before restoring democracy.

5 He had previously promised to hold elections on February 27.

6 A document from ASECNA, the air traffic agency for much of West Africa, posted on social media, showed that a French military plane entered Mali’s airspace from neighboring Ivory Coast on Tuesday.

7 The flight violated the recent suspension of flights between Mali and other ECOWAS member states, according to the document.

8 Colonel Lassina Togola, head of the Mali national airport company, confirmed the authenticity of the ASECNA document.

9 But he did not respond directly to AFP‘s questions about how the border closures affected French military movements, or those of the UN peacekeepers.

10 France has thousands of troops in Mali and neighboring Sahel countries as part of an anti-jihadist force.

11 The UN also has some 16,500 troops in Mali as part of its MINUSMA peacekeeping operation, including 10,700 soldiers, according to its website.

12 Togola told AFP that the borders between Mali and the ECOWAS countries are closed and that planes cannot travel between them.

13 However, he added that “authorization may be granted at the request of the carrier”, without offering further details.

14 French army spokesman Pascal Ianni said that “the closure of the borders does not affect military flights.”

15 MINUSMA spokesman Olivier Salgado also said that the operations of the UN mission have continued “without interruption.”

16 ASECNA, the air traffic agency, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

17 Source Credit: TheGuardian

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