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France and Allies Begin Withdrawal From Mali

France and several Western allies said on Thursday they would begin a “coordinated withdrawal” from Mali, accusing the newly elected government there of thwarting counter-terrorism operations that the Army France has been leading in the Sahel region for the past decade.

Jihadist groups have spread across the West African country and into neighboring countries, even as a coalition of Western and African militaries tries to fight them. However, France, its partners in Europe and Canada “have decided to withdraw their military presence in Mali”, said President Emmanuel Macron of France.

The countries said in a statement that they remained “committed to supporting Mali and its people in their efforts to achieve lasting peace and stability”, but that the country’s new leaders were responsible for “many” obstacles” and “political, operational and legal conditions are no longer met to effectively continue their current military involvement in the fight against terrorism in Mali”.

The statement said that the countries will “continue to take joint action against terrorism in the Sahel region, including in Niger and in the Gulf of Guinea, and have commenced political and military consultations with them with the aim of making recommendations terms for this joint action. in June 2022.” French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to provide more details on the move during a press conference on Thursday.

France sent troops into Mali, a landlocked West African country, in 2013 to fight back against armed Islamists who had taken over cities in the north of the country. The campaign only lasted a few weeks.

Almost ten years later, thousands of French soldiers are still there, housed in spacious air-conditioned bases, operating planes including drones, and moving through the bush in armored vehicles. state-of-the-art. They are looking for an elusive enemy, armed with AK-47s and traveling on motorcycles, which is increasing in size and number, despite the series of jihadist leaders France reports that they are fighting. killed.

The military alliance, led by France and Mali but including other West African and European militaries, has long failed to contain the situation, and worsening security was one of the factors that led to Mali’s coup in August 2020.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/17/world/africa/mali-france-withdrawal.html France and Allies Begin Withdrawal From Mali

Fry Electronics Team

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