France and its allies begin withdrawing troops from Mali

France and its allies have agreed to begin a coordinated withdrawal from Mali after relations with the military junta that rules the West African country have deteriorated.

French troops entered Mali in 2013 to fight al Qaeda-linked militants to prevent them from advancing to the capital, Bamako.

French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed the rollback, but insisted that French troops would continue to fight the rebels in the region.

Joint statement from allies said: “Due to many obstacles from the transitional authorities of Mali, Canada and European states working with Operation Barkhane and within the Takuba Task Force believe that the political, operational and legal conditions are no longer met to effectively continue them. current military involvement in the fight against terrorism in Mali ”.

The Allies will gradually withdraw their troops intended for these operations. The withdrawal is expected to be completed in four to six months, according to Reuters, citing President Macron.

The report adds that relations between France and Mali have deteriorated after the military government withdrew from an agreement to hold elections in February and offered to retain power until 2025.

The joint statement of the allied states also pledged to continue counter-terrorism operations in the Sahel at the request of their African partners.

Political and military consultations are currently underway to determine the terms of this joint action by June 2022.

A BBC report says Operation Barkhan has 5,000 troops in France in the Sahel. Approximately 2,400 of these troops are stationed at Mali’s three northern bases.

Last month, the French army signed a contract with Saab its multidisciplinary Barracuda camouflage system.

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