NewsWorldFrance resumes joint operations with Malian armed forces

France resumes joint operations with Malian armed forces


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The Ministry of the Armed Forces announced on Friday that French military forces have resumed joint operations with Malian troops in the West African country. President Emmanuel Macron had suspended operations in Mali since June 3.

France is backing down in Mali. The French military will resume joint operations with the Malian armed forces in the West African country, after suspending bilateral cooperation following a second coup in the country in May, said on Friday. July 2 in the evening the Ministry of the Armed Forces.

“Following consultations with the Malian transitional authorities and the countries of the region, France takes note of the commitments of the Malian transitional authorities” endorsed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) , and “decided to resume joint military operations as well as national advisory missions, which had been suspended since June 3,” Paris announced in a press release.

“France remains fully engaged, with its European and American allies, alongside the Sahelian countries and international missions” to fight the jihadist groups that are rampant in the Sahel, concluded the Ministry of the Armed Forces.

Consultations to replace Operation Barkhane

A group of colonels had urged Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta to resign in August 2020. The coup plotters then committed under international pressure to a transition period limited to 18 months and led by civilians. But on May 24, Colonel Goïta, who remained the real strongman of the transition, trampled on this commitment by arresting the President and the Prime Minister. He has since been proclaimed president of the transition by the Constitutional Court.

After this second putsch in nine months, President Emmanuel Macron said last month that France’s operation against Islamist militants in the Sahel region of West Africa would end.

Emmanuel Macron then explained that consultations concerning the continuation of French engagement in the Sahel should be carried out with the United States and France’s European partners, as well as with the G5 Sahel countries (Mali, Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso and Mauritania).

The French anti-jihadist force Barkhane (5,100 men at present) will therefore disappear in favor of a tightened device, focused on the fight against terrorism and support in the fight of local armies.

But “this transformation does not mean the departure from the Sahel, nor that we are going to slow down our counterterrorism operations” in the region, underlined earlier Friday the French Minister of the Armies, Florence Parly.

The expected rise of Takuba

“We have collectively, (we) Europeans, a responsibility to secure the southern flank of Europe. It is essential not to allow the Sahel and more broadly Africa to become a zone of refuge and expansion for these terrorist groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group, ”she said.

To reduce the sails in the Sahel, France is counting heavily on the rise of the group of European special forces Takuba, created at the initiative of Paris to accompany Malian units in combat.

“Today, we do not see any inflections, reluctance or questioning linked to the” political situation in Mali, assured Ms. Parly, considering “all the more important that we consolidate Takuba that we see him a major role in the coming years “.

Takuba today brings together 600 men in Mali: half are French, the others Estonians, Czechs, Swedes and Italians. Romania has also committed to participate.

With AFP and Reuters



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