The French government has announced that by 2022 it will close all of its military bases in Mali.
On Friday French President Emmanuel Macron made the announcement, indicating that the process to close its bases in northern Mali will start by the end of this year.
This is part of a bigger plan by France to finally withdraw troops fighting Islamist extremists in the Sahel region.
France operates military bases in Kidal, Tessalit et Tombouctou, helping to fight militants wrecking havoc in those places.
“The shutdowns of these sections will start in the second half of 2021 and be completed by early 2022,” Macron told reporters at a summit with some West African leaders.
He added that “Our enemies have abandoned their territorial ambitions in favour of spreading their threat not only across the Sahel, but across all of West Africa”.
“Unfortunately this offensive implies increased pressure on all the Gulf of Guinea countries, which is already a reality,” Macron said.
President Macron assured that France will continue to be a partner for Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania and Niger who are within the Sahel region.