France has announced that it will withdraw its forces, alongside other Western troops present in Mali.

The decision which ends a nine-year presence of European forces in the West African country, was revealed by President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday.

Giving a speech in Paris, Macron said it was necessary for troops to leave after diplomatic relations had gone sour; with an increased level of hostility from the junta – the governing military in Mali.

“We cannot remain militarily engaged alongside de-facto authorities whose strategy and hidden aims we do not share.

“France has played a unifying role in this international mobilisation in favour of the Sahel.

“We will continue to ensure this unifying role,” he added.

The forces will now redeploy in other locations in the Sahel region of Africa; in a bid to continue the fight against Islamic militants in West Africa.

Macron also announced that Niger will receive some of the withdrawing forces whilst downplaying any mission failure talk regarding the development.

Furthermore, the strategy employed for withdrawal of forces will span over four to six months, as announced after African leaders had a sit-down with some European leaders two days ago at the Élysée Palace.

Tensions between France and Mali had started after the West African nation’s military force seized power in 2020, and worsened when the junta decided to hold elections in February; which raised a whole lot of questions and led to the departure of the French ambassador.

The war against Islamic jihadists have seen about 5,000 French troops deployed to the Sahel region. A key part of Operation Barkhane that has lasted for years.

French and other Western Forces withdrawal have also raised concerns on a deteriorated security system in the country which could lead to instability in that part of the Sahel region.

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