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Pushed out by the ruling junta in Bamako, France and its European partners are expected to formalize their military withdrawal from Mali on Thursday morning after nine years of anti-jihadist struggle led by Paris. French President Emmanuel Macron will hold a press conference at the Élysée at 9 a.m.

  • 9:25 am: the French presence in the Sahel must be reduced

The French presence in the Sahel must be reduced as has been done in northern Mali, declared the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron. For the Head of State, this development will, as requested by local partners, allow us to refocus “where our contribution is expected”.

  • 9:20 a.m.: “It was important to send a message of continuity to our commitment to the Sahel”

Emmanuel Macron said it was important to send a message of continuity “of the commitment of France and its partners in the Sahel in the anti-jihadist fight. The French president affirms that the other countries of the Gulf of Guinea will be more “supported”. Moreover, civilian populations will be placed more at the heart of the anti-jihadist fight: “First, deploy civil and social programs. It is only in addition to these programs that military action can be effective,” said Emmanuel Macron.

  • 9:05 am: what the official press release says

“Due to the multiple obstructions of the Malian transitional authorities, Canada and the European States operating alongside Operation Barkhane and within Task Force Takuba believe that the political, operational and legal conditions are no longer met to pursue effectively their current military commitment in the fight against terrorism in Mali and have therefore decided to begin the coordinated withdrawal from Malian territory of their respective military means dedicated to these operations”, is it written in this declaration.

  • 8:50 a.m.: France and its partners announce their withdrawal from Mali

France, its European allies in Takuba and Canada announce a “coordinated withdrawal” from Mali, in a press release, due to the deterioration of relations with the junta in Bamako.

“The political, operational and legal conditions are no longer met” and the countries have decided “the coordinated withdrawal” from Mali, while assuring their “willingness to remain engaged in the region” of the Sahel plagued by jihadist contagion, according to a joint statement.

  • 8:45 a.m .: with the departure of Barkhane, the option of a negotiation with the jihadists relaunched in Mali

While the withdrawal of French troops from Mali should be announced by Emmanuel Macron on Thursday morning, the Malian transitional authorities now have a free hand to negotiate directly with jihadist groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda. Our explanations in this article.

  • 8:20 am: “Emmanuel Macron should announce the outlines of the departure of French troops from Mali”

“The Head of State has no choice but to agree with his European partners to draw the framework for this withdrawal which should be announced by Emmanuel Macron”, explains our special envoy to the Élysée, Karim Hakiki. .


Live: France and its partners announce their military withdrawal from Mali
  • 7:55 am: “The end of Operation Barkhane leaves a great void”

In an exclusive interview with France 24 and RFI, the President of Côte d’Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara, judged that the expected withdrawal of French and European troops from Mali “creates a vacuum” which will force the West African armies to be in front line in the fight against jihadism in the Sahel.


Live: France and its partners announce their military withdrawal from Mali
ALASSANE OUATTRA FRANCE 24 © France24
  • 7:30 a.m.: D-Day for the French presence in Mali

Emmanuel Macron must hold a press conference at the Élysée on Thursday February 17 at 9 a.m. (8 a.m. GMT), in particular alongside the President of the European Council Charles Michel, to announce the decisions taken on Wednesday evening during a summit bringing together several European and African leaders.

France has been militarily present since 2013 in Mali, prey to jihadist groups which are also rampant in other Sahelian states. Paris intervened to stem the advance of radical Islamist groups threatening Bamako and then set up a vast regional anti-jihadist operation, Barkhane, deploying thousands of soldiers to fight local franchises of Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State organization. .

But despite tactical victories, the ground was never truly taken over by the Malian state and its armed forces.

With AFP

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