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France and EU to withdraw troops from Mali, remain in region
President Emmanuel Macron accused Mali's authorities of neglecting the fight against Islamic extremists and said it was logical for France to withdraw.

"Victory against terror is not possible if it's not supported by the state itself," the French leader told a press conference with European Union and African Union officials.

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Malian politicians and international experts worry the French pull-out will result in a security vacuum that will embolden jihadi groups to increase their power.

But Malian army spokesman Col. Major Souleymane Dembélé said that despite the presence of French and European forces in Mali [since 2013], the country continues to be plagued by jihadists who have encroached in many areas.

"What have they given us?" he asked during a press conference. "Mali is not alone and will not remain alone. France and European countries can leave. ... Let's give it time and you will see what will happen."

by Cat on Fri Feb 18th, 2022 at 09:21:49 PM EST
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