France Threatens To Pull Troops Out Of Mali
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French President, Emmanuel Macron has warned that France will pull its troops out of Mali if it lurches towards radical Islamism following the second coup in nine months.

Africa Today News, New York understands that France has around 5,100 troops in the region under its so-called Barkhane operation which spans five countries in the Sahel — Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger.

The mission, headquartered in Chad, was launched after France intervened to fend off a jihadist advance in Mali in 2013.

Last Tuesday France and the European Union denounced an ‘unacceptable coup d’etat’ after Mali’s interim president Bah Ndaw and prime minister Moctar Ouane were detained and stripped of their powers in what is being seen as the country’s second coup in less than a year.

Read Also: West African Leaders Set To Meet To Discuss Mali Crisis

Macron said he had told Ndaw that France will withdraw its troops if Mali turns towards radical Islamism.

‘Radical Islamism in Mali with our soldiers there? Never,’ he told reporters

‘There is this temptation today in Mali. But if it goes in that direction, I will withdraw,’ he warned in comments made during a trip to Rwanda and South Africa. Macron flew home to Paris on Saturday.

The French president added that he had given a message to West African leaders that they could not back a country “where there is no longer democratic legitimacy or transition.”

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has invited Mali’s junta leader Colonel Assimi Goita to Ghana’s capital Accra for “consultations” ahead of an extraordinary summit on Sunday devoted to Mali.

Goita flew to Accra on Saturday, military and airport sources said.

He had served as vice president since leading a coup last August that ousted the democratically elected president, with the roles of president and prime minister held by civilians after pressure from ECOWAS, which has served as a mediator.

 

AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK