Bamako airport (DR Shutterstock)
More isolated than ever, Mali is seeing the sanctions taken on Sunday by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) find a resonance in Europe. ECOWAS announced the closure of borders and a trade embargo to put pressure on the military junta. The latter was planning to postpone the return to an electoral process – initially scheduled for February – until the end of 2026. Several African airlines have therefore suspended flights to Mali. And French diplomacy chose to support the ECOWAS approach. A decision that translates into the suspension of Air France
flights to Bamako.
The Minister of Transport and Infrastructure regrets the inconvenience caused to air transport users
” The Minister of Transport and Infrastructure informs national and international opinion that the airline Air France has decided, according to the information notified to the airport authorities of Mali by its representative in Bamako, to suspend all its flights to and from Bamako, until further notice,” says the statement signed by Ms. Dembele Madino Sissoko, head of the Ministry. She added: ” This abrupt decision was taken by Air France without prior consultation and without any justification being given to the Malian aviation authorities, whereas on Tuesday 11 January the company had submitted a reorganized flight plan based on the situation “. The Minister ” regrets the inconvenience caused to air transport users
Inconveniences that could be accentuated if the decision were to spread on a larger scale. Indeed, the French authorities are asking the EU to take its turn to impose sanctions against Mali. And the United States announced on January 10 that it ” welcomes the strong measures taken by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to defend democracy and stability in Mali following its extraordinary summit on January 9, 2022
According to the online booking sites of Turkish Airlines and Ethiopian Airlines, it still seems possible to travel to the capital of Mali via Istanbul or Addis Ababa as of January 13.
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