A spat between the French and Malian governments is threatening to derail a fragile alliance against armed groups in the Sahel region of North Africa.
Last month, Mali’s interim prime minister accused France of abandonment over its decision to reduce its military presence in the region.
French President Emmanuel Macron called the comments “unacceptable”, and later disparaged the Malian government’s efforts to secure parts of the country.
On Tuesday, Mali summoned France’s ambassador and expressed “indignation” over Macron’s words.
Tensions between the two countries were already high before the dispute – after reports surfaced that Mali was in talks to hire Russian mercenaries for security.
So, what are the risks?
Presenter: Adrian Finighan
Fabrice Pothier – Chief strategy officer at Rasmussen Global
Ovigwe Eguegu – Security analyst at Afripolitika
Andrew Lebovich – Policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations