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Malians convinced French troops' withdrawal won't change anything

French soldiers handing over to the Malian troops   -  
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A section of Malians is not convinced enough that their country’s security element will change.

After the last French soldiers completed their withdrawal from Mali more than nine years, some Malians believe their country’s military can handle the security issues in the west African state.

France pulled out of the country in the face of deep hostility after falling out with colonels who seized power nearly two years ago.

"I, like many other Malians, have been waiting impatiently for the departure of the foreign troops, but after this departure that we are all waiting for, there are many things to do. We have to work hard to fill this void, it is up to us Malians to work hand in hand to fill this void," said Adama Cissé, a member of the political party ADEMA.

To some, this is the time for the country to steer ahead its political ambitions while adding that French troops' withdrawal will not change any dynamic.

"People have not understood that if France leaves or stays it will not change anything, Mali must take its responsibilities in hand, whether France leaves or stays it must take its responsibility."

Barkhane initially deploys 3,000 troops, rising to 5,100 troops at its peak. The force operates in cooperation with five allied countries -- Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.

On July 1 Paris announces the end of Takuba, and on Monday Barkhane officially comes to a close.

Now out of Mali, France has halved its presence in the Sahel, with just 2,500 militaries now remaining in the region.

Russian paramilitaries from the controversial Wagner group later began deploying in Mali at the end of 2021 to shore up its military leaders.

On January 9, 2022, the West African bloc ECOWAS imposes an embargo on Mali over the canceled elections, demanding a return to civilian rule.

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