French forces to quit Mali

  • In a major development, French forces are set to quit Mali. This comes a decade after the first French troops landed in the West African nation to fight insurgents

  • Coups in Mali, Chad and Burkina Faso have weakened France’s alliances in its former colonies, emboldened jihadists who control large swathes of desert and scrubland, and opened the door to greater Russian influence.

  • A few months ago, Burkina Faso entered the list of nations that witnessed a military coup. The region as a whole has witnessed a democratic downslide

  • A French-led mission of 14 mainly European nations with 600-900 soldiers in Mali is also winding up.

  • President Emmanuel Macron said the withdrawal would take four to six months, during which time there would be fewer operations against jihadists.

  • The main question that's bothering regional experts in the peace process is about the future of UN Peacekeepers and hundreds of personnel in the European Union’s EUTM and EUCAP training missions which had relied on French troops for medical, aerial and emergency support.

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