West Africa – France withdraws from Mali after nine years of military intervention

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Emmanuel Macron announced on Thursday that it would take 4 to 6 months to close the last French bases. Nevertheless, the president “completely rejects” the idea of ​​defeat.

Despite the withdrawal of the army from Mali, Paris and its allies want Sahel to “continue to engage in the region” to contain the jihadi threat.

AFP

Evicted by the ruling regime’s “obstacles” in Bamako, France, and its European partners formalized their military withdrawal from Mali on Thursday, after nine years of anti-jihadist struggle led by Paris, the Sahelian countries have said they want to remain firm. And the Gulf of Guinea.

“Due to a number of obstacles from Mali’s intermediaries, Canada and European countries (France) are cooperating with Operation Bargain and hope that the conditions are not now met to effectively pursue their commitment within the Takuba Task Force. We have decided to start a joint withdrawal from, “they underlined in a joint statement.

French President Emmanuel Macron argued at a news conference that Wagner’s mercenaries with “Russian ambitions” could not join the military if they did not share tactics or hidden motives. Leaders of Senegal, Ghana and the Council of Europe. Mali authorities continue to deny the presence of these mercenaries in their territory.

However, Paris and its allies want to curb the jihadi threat by “continuing to engage in the Sahelian region and extending their support to the Gulf of Guinea and neighboring countries in West Africa.” Emmanuel Macron underlined the “priorities of the expansion strategy” of the Sahel and Guinea Gulf jihadist organizations Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.

France has been militarily in Mali since 2013, falling prey to jihadi groups that are widespread in other Sahelian states. Paris intervened to stop the advance of radical Islamist groups threatening Bamako, and then launched a large-scale operation called Bargane, which stationed thousands of troops to fight al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group’s local rights.

But despite the tactical victories, the ground was never captured by the Malian government and its armed forces. To make matters worse, the Malian government overthrew the dual regime in 2020 and 2021, culminating in a military regime coming to power riding on growing anti-French sentiment in the region.

He responded on Thursday that the head of state “completely rejects” the idea of ​​French defeat in Mali. He argued that “what would have happened in 2013 if France had not chosen to intervene? You will certainly have overthrown the Mali government”, “then our soldiers won many victories”, including the ouster of al Qaeda’s emir in the Islamic Maghreb in June 2020.

Certainly, Emmanuel Macron explained that it would take “4 to 6 months” for the last French bases in Mali to close. According to Elysee, about 25,000 men are currently employed in Sahel, of which about 4,300 are French (2,400 in Mali, part of the Barcan).

(AFP)

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