France to start closing military bases in Mali by the end of the year

3 weeks ago 21

French President Emmanuel Macron said Friday that France would statesman closing its bases successful bluish Mali earlier the extremity of the year, arsenic portion of a drawdown of French troops warring Islamist extremists successful the Sahel.

Military bases successful Kidal, Tessalit et Tombouctou, cardinal sectors successful the combat against equipped groups successful the region, volition besides beryllium closed.

"The shutdowns of these sections volition commencement successful the 2nd fractional of 2021 and beryllium completed by aboriginal 2022," Macron said during a property league pursuing acme talks with the leaders of 5 West African nations.

France will, successful the agelong run, support 2,500 to 3,000 subject unit successful the region, French President Macron added.

Macron announced past period that helium would commencement removing overmuch of the 5,100-member Barkhane unit successful the Sahel aft 8 years of helping section forces stave disconnected the menace from Islamist rebels linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.

But the French president insisted that France would stay a semipermanent spouse for the G5 countries of Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania and Niger.

"Our enemies person abandoned their territorial ambitions successful favour of spreading their menace not lone crossed the Sahel, but crossed each of West Africa," Macron said astatine a property league with Niger's President Mohamed Bazoum.

"Unfortunately this violative implies accrued unit connected each the Gulf of Guinea countries, which is already a reality," helium said.

Analysts person warned that the jihadist menace successful the 5 Sahel countries could pb to accrued panic threats successful countries including the Ivory Coast oregon Benin.

"We are going to reorganise ourselves successful enactment with this request to halt this dispersed to the south, and it volition pb to a simplification of our subject footprint successful the north," Macron said.

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