Malians gathered in the capital Bamako over the weekend to celebrate the withdrawal of French troops. AfricaNews reports that they celebrated France’s departure by burning a European flag, with some demonstrators carrying placards emblazoned with messages such as “Thanks Wagner” and “France is a terrorist nation”. On Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron announced a phased withdrawal of troops over time following a breakdown in relations with the nation’s ruling military junta, Mali’s army-led government then on Friday asked France to withdraw its forces from the Sahel state “without delay”. A Malian government spokesman added in a statement announced on public television that the results of France’s nine-year military engagement in the conflict-torn country were “not satisfactory”.
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