BAMAKO – French Finance Minister Michel Sapin announced on Thursday that Paris had cancelled 43 billion CFA francs ($71 million) worth of debt owed by Mali.
“France wishes to support Mali more to cope with a debt that is an old debt and sometimes difficult to manage,” Sapin said following a meeting with Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta.
Sapin gave no further details of the agreement and it was not immediately clear what portion of Mali’s overall debt to France the amount represented.
The West African nation is emerging from a 2012 crisis that saw soldiers, angered by the government’s handling of a northern Tuareg separatist uprising, stage a coup that then allowed al Qaeda-linked groups to seize the desert north.
($1 = 605.9600 CFA francs)(Reuters)