Quick News Bit

French forces begin northern Mali drawdown: ‘The idea is not to create a vacuum’


Issued on:

France has begun to withdraw troops from its northernmost Malian bases, part of plans to reorganise its forces deployed in the restive Sahel region under “Operation Barkhane”.

French army bases in Kidal, Tessalit and Timbuktu, in the north of the country, will be closed by the end of the year and handed over to the Malian army.

While air support will be maintained, the 5,100 French troops currently in the Sahel will be reduced to roughly 3,000. European special forces, deployed in the Takuba task force, will be in charge of supporting the Malian military in combat.

“The idea is not to create a vacuum. The idea is to leave the responsibility of these areas to the Malian state,” said General Etienne du Peyroux of the French Barkhane force. “To avoid the risk of getting stuck in conflict, we need a response that is not only military.”

>> France hits back at claim it is ‘abandoning’ Mali by withdrawing troops

After eight years of war against jihadist militants, swathes of Mali’s territory remain outside the authorities’ control.

For Hamidou Cissé of the Patriots of Mali group, the time has come to turn the page on the French intervention that started in 2013.

“After they arrived, we thought we would have peace,” said Cissé. “If they withdraw today, in six months or a year, we will suffer, But it is better to suffer than to remain in their hands for ever.”

For more on this story, click on the video player above.

For all the latest Health News Click Here 

 For the latest news and updates, follow us on Google News

Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! NewsBit.us is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave a comment