Mali is pulling out of a multinational military force in West Africa’s Sahel region combatting an armed rebellion, the country’s military government has said.
The G5 Sahel force, which includes troops from Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso and Mauritania, was set up in 2017 to counter armed groups who have swept across the region in recent years, killing thousands of people and forcing millions to flee their homes.
But the force has been hobbled by a lack of funding and has struggled to reduce the violence.
The statement by Mali’s military government, which overthrew former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and took power in a 2020 coup, blamed a lack of progress in the fight against the armed groups and the failure to hold recent meetings in Mali.
The move further isolates Mali, which has also been slapped with sanctions from West Africa’s regional political bloc, hitting jobs and industry in the impoverished country.
And it comes as anti-French sentiments continue to rise in the country, even after the February announcement of the withdrawal of French troops in the Sahel state.