The last French army unit left Mali on Monday, according to a statement from the French military, nine years after Paris sent troops to the West African country to help drive Islamic extremists from power.
France’s armed forces completed their withdrawal from Mali six months after French President Emmanuel Macron announced his plan to pull out of the country following tensions with the ruling junta.
France had about 4,300 troops in the Sahel region, including 2,400 in Mali, in February when Macron announced the withdrawal. With French army units out of Mali, “the Barkhane force has been reorganized outside the country,” the French army statement said Monday, adding that the “major logistic challenge has been met in an orderly and safe way, in coordination with all its partners.”
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