The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

Mali’s Sanction To Affect
Air France Route To Liberia

Over the last 48 hours, news about aviation giant Air France decisively quitting flight to Liberia has spread though much of the narratives regarding the imminent departure of the France carrier seem to be shrouded in lies and misrepresentations.
Contrary to reports that Air France is pulling out of Liberia, with the last flight allegedly scheduled to and from Liberia tentatively set at March 28, 2022, primarily because the Roberts International Airport is poorly managed and falls short of meeting basic aviation standards, which makes it difficult for the French carrier to continue flying to Monrovia, a thorough and corroborated investigation has established the prime reasons why Air France would discontinue flying to Liberia anytime soon.
The discontinuation of flight to Liberia by Air France is entirely a policy position by the Government of France which is principally in consonance with its geopolitical determination and disposition relative to ailing diplomatic ties with Mali, Bamako.
This investigation credibly established that the imminent departure of the French carrier has absolutely nothing to do with the poor management of the RIA or the bad services and facilities of the airport relative to power outages and runway faults, which are not akin or unique to the RIA.
Before embarking on its Monrovia (ROB) route, Air France’s prime route closer to Liberia was Mali which served as its regional transit hub—essentially to serve the needs of the French troop deployed in Mali to assist the troubled West African nation effectively combat and decimate the Jihadist(Terrorist) movement which has infiltrated and occupied parts of the country for several years now.
Because of its 2,400 troops deployed in Mali, the French government, as a matter of policy, had to prioritize Mali, Bamako as a major and permanent route to ensure that French citizens, institutions, and companies smoothly and constantly travel to Mali to essentially transact with the troops on the ground.
Principally, it was because of the presence of France and other foreign troops under the zeitgeist of the United Nations (U.N.) in Mali, Air France flew to Mali almost daily and this is how and why the Bamako route was set into motion for Air France which is a national carrier.
In December 2021, diplomatic relations between France and Mali badly deteriorated after two coup d’états and the new military regime’s reluctance to agree to an immediate transition to civilian rule.
The French ambassador to the former colony was expelled, a move greeted with public celebrations in Bamako and the presence of Russian mercenary forces from the private military Wagner Group has increased tension, with the EU accusing Mali’s military regime of using them to shore up their power.
“Multiple obstructions” by the ruling junta meant conditions were no longer in place to operate in Mali, France, and its African and European allies said in a position statement.
Given the sour twist in diplomatic ties with the alien Military Junta, French President Emmanuel Macron quickly announced that he was withdrawing French troops from Mali with immediate effect.
The French would pull out after nearly a decade of active combat against terrorists in the Sahel region.
Since the pronouncement of President Macron last December 2021, the withdrawal has been in full effect and French troops are nearly out of Mali which potentially brings to an end all French dealings with Mali including its national carrier Air France flying there.
Accordingly, on January 11, 2022, Air France announced on its website the cancellation of all flights to Mali as of January 2002 as part of sanctions placed on Bamako by the French government and the Economic Committee of West Africa or ECOWAS.
As far as the investigation established, Air France flew to Liberia on a conditional arrangement that originated from an official appeal made by the Liberian government to the French government. Before embarking on its flight route to Liberia, Air France flew directly to Mali with no connecting route to Liberia. So, with flight discontinued to Mali, the arrangement that led to Air France flying to Monrovia is fractured meaning the aviation giant can no longer continue flight to Liberia—on an arrangement that is non-existent.
Air France flew to Liberia on a conditional basis that originated from an official appeal by the Government of Liberia to the French government to allow the French carrier to connect Liberia to its Malian hub and this means Liberia was a secondary route, as the primary route was Bamako, Mali.
Since late January, Air France suspended flights to Mali, an airline spokesperson said because of security risks in the West African nation following sweeping new sanctions and border closures imposed by the regional bloc.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) agreed that a raft of restrictions against Mali included the suspension of financial transactions over the interim authorities’ failure to hold democratic elections as agreed after a 2020 military coup.
Mali’s neighbours have closed their road and air borders, prompting regional airlines such as Ivory Coast’s national carrier Air Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso’s Air Burkina to halt flights to the Malian capital Bamako.
Mali’s interim government has condemned the latest sanctions as illegal and illegitimate and urged citizens to remain calm.

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