France and its allies to withdraw their troops from Mali

President Emmanuel Macron announced that France and its allies in an international force will withdraw their troops from Mali after nearly a decade.

The troops have fought Islamist militants in the country.

The forces will be reassigned to the Sahel region of Africa.

Mr Macron stated that the decision to depart came as a result of a breakdown in diplomatic relations and growing hostility from Mali’s new military junta.

“We cannot continue to be militarily involved” with Malian authorities with whom “we do not share the strategy and objectives,” he told a Paris news conference on Thursday.

Mr Macron denied claims that the withdrawal reflected an admission of defeat and insisted that France remained committed to combating Islamic insurgencies in the region, adding that Niger had agreed to host some of the withdrawing forces.

“France has been a unifying force in this international mobilization for the Sahel,” he stated. “We will continue to ensure that this role of unification is maintained.”

The move came in the aftermath of a meeting between EU and African leaders at the Elysee palace.

In a statement released Thursday morning, countries participating in the French-led Tabuka Taskforce agreed to outline plans by June 2022 for how they intend to remain in the region, specifically Niger and the Gulf of Guinea countries.

“In close coordination with neighboring states, they also expressed their desire to remain engaged in the region, consistent with their respective constitutional provisions,” the statement stated.

The decision will have a significant impact on the security of a number of countries participating in the mission.

President Alassane Ouattara of the Ivory Coast warned that the withdrawal of forces would create a “void” that would increase the burden on regional governments.

“We will be compelled to strengthen our defense forces and enhance border protection,” Mr Ouattara stated.

Senegalese President Macky Sall, on the other hand, said he understood France’s decision to withdraw its troops from Mali and was assured that the fight against Islamist militants in the Sahel would continue.

Source BBC
Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.