All French Soldiers Involved in Barkhane Operation Left Mali – PARIS

French soldiers and United Nations peacekeepers from Burkina Faso patrol in Timbuktu, November 5, 2014. REUTERS/Joe Penney
REUTERS/Joe Penney

All French troops involved in the counterterrorism mission Barkhane in Mali left the country, the French defense ministry said on Monday.

“Today, the last military personnel of the Barkhane mission who were on the territory of Mali, crossed the border between Mali and Niger,” a statement said.

The military left the operational headquarters in the Malian city of Gao, which was transferred to the armed forces of Mali, the statement noted.

France launched Barkhane mission in 2014 in the Sahel region. The mission involves forces of the G5 Sahel countries, including Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, and Mauritania. In summer 2021, Macron said that Operation Barkhane would be transformed into an international counterterrorist alliance. France began reducing its presence in Mali in December 2021 after the military coup in May.

In the spring, the Mali government announced that it was terminating defense agreements with France and called on the country to withdraw troops involved in the Barkhane and Takuba operations.

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