Welcome to Africanews

Please select your experience

Watch Live



France is one step closer to withdrawal from Mali

French colonel Faivre hands over the symbolic key of Camp Barkhane to the Malian colonel during the handover ceremony of the Barkhane military base to the Malian army   -  
Copyright © africanews


In Mali, French troops handed control of an army base on Tuesday to Malian officers near the city of Timbuktu.

The handover follows President Macron's June announcement of a major withdrawal of French troops from the region.

France's deployment in the Sahel is due to fall to about 3,000 troops by next year.

For many Malians the withdrawal of France represents a disappointment.

"In eight years in Mali, the French army has done nothing. It has to be said. I would say a decade of loss for the Malian nation. A decade completely lost like that. It's a catastrophic record, otherwise. When the French army came, you saw the enthusiasm and the welcome of the Malians all over Bamako, in Timbuktu, everywhere. In the same way, if the French army decides to leave or to reorganize, or at least to leave at point A or point B, the population should still come out to congratulate it, but did you see that? No, we are disappointed", admits local businessman Kibili Demba Dembele.

Alex Doumbia, a resident of Bamako resident added "when France says that it is organizing the base to go to the other side, I see that these are things to be able to reconquer the Malian power. This is false. (Junta leader) Assimi (Goita) is not going to let this happen and the Malian people are not going to let it happen either".

According to the UN, militant attacks on civilians in Timbuktu and the surrounding area are at their lowest since 2015.

View more