December 5, 2022

France announces withdrawal of troops from Mali after a decade fighting an extremist threat with American money. Washington can now partner directly with African nations instead of paying the French to ‘secure Africa’

President Joe Biden meets with French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday, October 29 2021, at Villa Bonaparte in Rome. (Official White House Photo by Erin Scott)
President Joe Biden meets with French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday, October 29 2021, at Villa Bonaparte in Rome. (Official White House Photo by Erin Scott)

In a joint statement on Thursday, France and its security partners announced that all their troops from Mali will be withdrawn. They accused Malian authorities of obstructing their operations.

The statement by France, Canada, European and regional states said “political, operational and legal conditions are no longer met to effectively continue” military engagement in “the fight against terrorism in Mali,” reported The Washington Post.

The statement added that troops will shift to neighboring countries as the conflict deepens. “We all reaffirm our strong will to continue our partnership with and commitment to the people of Mali over the long term.”

The 4,000 troops from France in West Africa were deployed to fight al Qaeda and Islamic State combatants.

President Joe Biden departs with fellow panelists Felix Tshisekedi, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, left, and President of Gabon Ali Bongo Ondimba after delivering remarks at a session on ÒAction on Forests and Land UseÓ, Tuesday, November 2, 2021, during the COP26 U.N. Climate Change Conference at the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow, Scotland. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

The money to maintain French forces in Africa came mainly from the United States as France explained to America that it was fighting a war Africans could not fight on their own.

But as money poured in, the conflict which began in the Sahel region, after the Libyan government collapsed in 2011, continued to worsen, and has since splintered and spread to formerly peaceful neighbors such as Burkina Faso and Niger.

While the United States was giving France hundreds of millions of dollars and fueling their jets to fight battles in Africa, African forces themselves were left with virtually nothing. The lack of funding and equipment made it difficult to stop the bloodshed.

Protests began to break out with many Africans calling on French forces to leave the region, and accusing them of manufacturing terrorism in the region.

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