All French Soldiers Involved in Barkhane Operation Left Mali: Defense Ministry
15:52 GMT 15.08.2022 (Updated: 11:37 GMT 23.11.2022)
© AP Photo / Jerome DelayThis Feb. 6, 2013, file photo shows French armoured vehicles heading towards the Niger border before making a left turn north in Gao, northern Mali.
© AP Photo / Jerome Delay
PARIS (Sputnik) - All French troops involved in the counterterrorism mission Barkhane in Mali left the country, the French defense ministry said on Monday.
"Today, the last military personnel of the Barkhane mission who were on the territory of Mali, crossed the border between Mali and Niger," a statement said.
The military left the operational headquarters in the Malian city of Gao, which was transferred to the armed forces of Mali, the statement noted.
France launched Barkhane mission in 2014 in the Sahel region. The mission involves forces of the G5 Sahel countries, including Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, and Mauritania. In summer 2021, Macron said that Operation Barkhane would be transformed into an international counterterrorist alliance. France began reducing its presence in Mali in December 2021 after the military coup in May.
In the spring, the Mali government announced that it was terminating defense agreements with France and called on the country to withdraw troops involved in the Barkhane and Takuba operations.