The last soldiers belonging to France’s Barkhane operation in Mali have now left the African country, the French chiefs of staff said on Monday.
French forces have been supporting Mali against insurgents for nearly a decade, but President Emmanuel Macron decided to pull out after France and the Malian junta fell out in the wake of a military takeover.
“Today at 13H00 Paris time (1100 GMT) the final contingent of the Barkhane force still on Malian territory crossed the border between Mali and Niger,” the statement said.
After ties ruptured between Paris and the junta that took power in Mali in August 2020, the French began to withdraw its troops in February as jihadist violence surged in the Sahel.
More than 2,000 civilians have been killed in Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso since the start of the year, according to an AFP tally based on the findings of non-governmental organization ACLED.