Jealously kept at the Malian military base in Perth, Australia, this submarine should contribute to Mali’s strong return to the international scene.
Purchased with money from international donors for humanitarian emergencies , the new toy of the Malian naval forces was part of the Soviet arsenal dating from the Second World War. He was patched up by a team of Chinese engineers.
For the Malian Minister of Defense, this is a strategic acquisition. “We are the first African country to own N. From now on, the other countries will respect us, “he hopes.
“There is no question of making war on France or the United States that we can now fight, but to secure our borders and deter those who are tempted to attack us,” he adds.
The purchase of the submarine named Ibrahim Boubacar Keita is far from unanimous. Some associations denounce the opacity that surrounded the acquisition process. “Secret-defense”, replies the government.
Others go so far as to doubt the reality of the acquisition and claim evidence. “If this submarine really exists, we should see it here in Bamako”, plague Mouamadou Diakité, a plumber living in Bamako who emphasizes the fact that Mali, landlocked country, does not have access to the sea, which makes it impossible a routing of the device to Bamako.
“With global warming and rising sea levels, in a few years our new submarine will reach Mali,” says the defense minister who calls for patience.