The African state of Mali—supposedly the first country to accept a European Union “deal” to take back its citizens who illegally invaded Europe—has formally rejected the “agreement” ten days after signing it with Dutch foreign minister Bert Koenders.
The EU has been stunned into silence at the repudiation, which is directly contradictory to the signed paper which promises EU money to Mali in return for taking back their citizens.
Diop, left, and Koenders, right.
Koenders—a member of the far-left Labor Party (PvdA)—announced on the official Dutch government’s foreign ministry website on December 11 that he had concluded a “joint communique on behalf of the EU that will see more irregular Malian migrants in Europe returned to their country of origin.”
According to Koenders’ statement, the agreement had been signed in the Malian capital Bamako “on deepening the migration partnership between the EU and Mali.”
The Dutch foreign minister said that this was “the first time that the EU has adopted such specific agreements with an African country on the return of failed asylum seekers,” adding that this was “only possible if there’s trust and respect. But it needs to be done. Because it’s only by working together in this way that we can tackle the root causes of irregular migration.”
The statement added that the “partnership” would see the creation of a “large number of initiatives” in Mali to “help young Malians into employment.”
In addition, his statement said, the EU will also help to “increase the capacity of Mali’s security services and step up cooperation with neighboring countries in tackling people smuggling networks and improving border management.”
Koenders said of the African invaders pouring into Europe that they “have a great role to play in their country’s future,” and that therefore the EU “must prevent Malians from dying or falling victim to people smugglers on the way to North Africa or Europe.”
He spelled out the details of the “agreement” which had been reached with the Malian government as follows:
“The partnership sets out engagements for identifying irregular Malian migrants in Europe and providing them with the documents needed to return to their country of origin. In the period ahead, Malian officials will visit various EU member states to help ascertain migrants’ nationalities. This should speed up returns. The communiqué also sets out engagements for tackling people smuggling networks and the root causes of migration.”
Finally, the statement said, Koenders had traveled to Mali, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire on behalf of the EU in April “in order to reach political agreements on tackling flows of migrants from West Africa.
“This time around, the minister was invited back to Mali by foreign minister Abdoulaye Diop and represented the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini. ‘I am grateful to the Malian authorities for their willingness to make these agreements with the EU,’ said Mr Koenders. ‘Since our meeting in April, both parties have translated the agreements into action. So we now have every reason to step up our cooperation.’”
Koenders had already presented the communiqué that he concluded in Mali to EU foreign ministers in Brussels and had reported his findings to them.
Now however, Diop has denied that he ever entered into any such agreement with Koenders.
Diop told a press conference that “at no point was there any question of signing an agreement that would allow the expulsion of countrymen (living) in Europe illegally.”
Mali, he said, “does not intend to put a price on its dignity even if the EU is a development partner.”
He expressed his “astonishment” at learning via the media he had signed such a document, and, he added, that Koenders’ visit to Bamako “had never been intended as the moment to make a deal.”
Koenders has not responded to the turn of events, and is no doubt baffled as to why Diop would deny signing an agreement only days after doing so.
Perhaps Koenders might find an answer in the fact that the average IQ in Mali is 74. On the Stanford-Binet IQ testing scale (Stanford–Binet Fifth Edition, SB5, classification), an IQ of between 70 and 79 is officially classed as “Borderline impaired or delayed.”