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Mali Is Target of Disinformation, 'Media Demonizes, Manipulates, Destabilizes': Minister

© Sputnik . Alexey Mayshev / Go to the mediabankMali Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop during an interview with RIA Novosti.
Mali Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop during an interview with RIA Novosti. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 20.11.2023
In 2022, Mali suspended the French public media RFI and France 24. The government accused the media outlets of broadcasting false accusations against the Malian army, aiming to "destabilize" the government.
Information has become an instrument of warfare that can destabilize states, and Mali is no exception to the threat, declared Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop, speaking at a high-level conference on information warfare.
According to the minister, despite the official end of colonization, Africa today is the scene of very important geopolitical and geo-economic stakes." Some countries are playing the misinformation card to continue advancing their interests on the continent, he added.

"Our country is the target of informational attacks. It's no secret. Significant sums are being invested to derail what is happening in Mali [...] Africa is at stake. Mali is at stake. Some people would even be happy to empty our countries of people in order to take our resources. Disinformation is used to perpetuate domination, to perpetuate hegemonic policies. You have to demonize, manipulate and destabilize countries", he explained.

The misinformation that aims to "control minds," does not necessarily go through social media, but can even be expressed through traditional media, which generally have a certain credibility, the official explained.
In April 2022, Mali had suspended the French public media RFI and France 24.
Microphone with Sputnik radio logo in the studio, June 4, 2021. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 07.08.2023
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The army and the Kidal case

When disinformation seeks to destabilize political regimes, it can also directly attack the army, Abdoulaye Diop added. The recapture of the city of Kidal by Malian forces was an excellent example of media disinformation.

"A perfect illustration is what happened in Kidal. Today, Malian forces control this locality, that's a fact. But first they denied it was possible. Then they said we hadn't done it alone. This is done to denigrate, demonize and claim that the Malian forces are worthless. To claim that they can't succeed, where international forces have failed for ten years, despite billions of dollars being poured in", explained the minister.

It is therefore important for the army to be able to generate its own information, in order to promote its work among the Malian population in a fully transparent way, concluded the official.
On November 14, Malian forces announced that they had regained possession of the city of Kidal, a bastion of anti-goverment militant movements since 2012. After this liberation, a mass grave was discovered, as reported by the army.