Malians celebrate French retreat

Malians gather in the capital Bamako to celebrate the withdrawal of French troops.

They celebrate France’s departure by burning a European flag, with some demonstrators carrying placards with messages such as “Thanks Wagner” and “France is a terrorist nation”.

Mali’s army-led government on Friday asked France to withdraw its forces from the Sahel state “without delay”, calling into question Paris’ plans to pull out over several months.

A Malian government spokesman added in a statement announced on public television that the results of France’s nine-year military engagement in the conflict-torn country were “not satisfactory”.

On Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that he was withdrawing troops from Mali after a breakdown in relations with the nation’s ruling military junta.

France first intervened in Mali in 2013 to combat a jihadist insurgency that emerged one year prior.

It currently has around 4,600 troops stationed across the Sahel, 2,400 of them in Mali.

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Malians celebrate French retreat

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