While voices continue to rise to demand the departure of French troops accusing them of only interested in the natural wealth of Mali, the President of this country called on the population not to "bite the hand" of France.
President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta called on Malians not to "bite the hand" of those who come to their aid, including France, faced with the expressions of hostility to the presence of foreign forces in the country at war, tells the story AFP.
Thirteen French soldiers died Monday in the collision of their two helicopters during a night combat operation in southern Mali.
The Malian President said he would pay homage Monday by France to these soldiers. "I bow to (their) memory," he said.
"We have no reason to boast of reaching out to those who needed it yesterday," said Keita, referring to the engagement of Malian soldiers in both World Wars and peacekeeping missions. "But we also have no reason to bite the hands of those who give us theirs today."
It also set 14 December as the official launch of the inclusive national dialogue it launched in May and which has given rise to months of consultations. It is supposed to put the Malians around the table and establish a road map.
The President of Mali has suggested that this launch would take the form of a congress and called "all the forces of the Nation" to take part in this dialogue, "entered the home stretch".
The initiative has hitherto faced the non-participation of important actors, such as the main opposition group, the Front for the Safeguard of Democracy.
"We should seize the opportunity offered by flattening and deep diagnosis," said Keïta. The conclusions and resolutions resulting from this dialogue will be implemented by an independent mechanism, he assured.