President Emmanuel Macron has decided to pull out after France and the Malian junta fell out in the wake of a military takeover in August 2020. The French forces have been supporting Mali against insurgents for nearly a decade.
After ties ruptured between Paris and the junta that took power in Mali in August 2020, the French began to withdraw its troops in February, as jihadist violence surged in the Sahel. The violence has led the deaths of 2,000 civilians in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso since the start of the year.
Only an estimation of around 2,500 French personnel will remain in the Sahel and more than a thousand of them in Niger, mainly providing air support.
The French military says they will play a support role, helping local armed forces fight jihadists rather than act in their place.
By Vivian Moraa