World: Six months to leave Mali, bet for the soldiers of Barkhane

Tessit attack in Mali: new assessment of 42 soldiers killed, attack the deadliest since 2019

 Tessit attack in Mali: new assessment of 42 soldiers killed, attack the deadliest since 2019 © AFP Q UARArant-Deux Malian soldiers were killed Sunday in northeast Mali, near the borders of Burkina Faso And Niger, in the deadliest attack attributed to jihadists against Malian forces since 2019, according to a new assessment. This new assessment comes from an official document listed by the deceased soldiers, authenticated Wednesday by several senior military officials to AFP. The previous one indicated 17 soldiers and 4 civilians killed.

Le dernier convoi de l’opération Barkhane au Mali a franchi la frontière nigérienne le 15 août 2022 à 10h15 TU (Temps universel), mettant fin à plus de 9 ans et demi de présence de l’armée française a dans ce pays. © Mounia Daoudi / RFI The last convoy of Operation Barkhane in Mali crossed the Nigerian border on August 15, 2022 at 10:15 am Tu (universal time), putting an end to more than 9 and a half years of presence of the French army A in this country.

The last French soldiers of the Barkhane force officially left Mali. Almost six months to the day after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron, they spent, in the morning of Monday, August 15, the Nigerian border, ending more than nine and a half years of presence of the French army in Mali.

of our special envoy,

It was at 10:15 a.m. you (universal time) that the last French soldiers crossed, on Monday, August 15, the Labbézanga border post, which separates Mali from Niger. We were able to fly over this last convoy of the Barkhane force in Mali in a helicopter of the French army, after his arrival on Nigerian territory.

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A convoy of around fifty armored vehicles left Gao overnight, before crossing the 200 kilometers that separate the big city from northern Mali from the border. These men, about 300 in number, mainly legionaries and parachutist naval troops of the Monclar desert tactical group, had the mission of securing the Gao base until its transfer to the Malian Armed Forces (FAMA). A transfer now effective since August 15.

Captain Yann is among these soldiers. It was the mission of closing the Gao base portal: "It's special. Gao, we have been there for eight years. And we have been in Mali since 2013. We are at the end of a chain, because we close Gao and we leave Mali in the same movement. We necessarily think of our 59 comrades fallen here. We leave a part of us, a part of France here. "

Last French troops leave Mali, ending nine-year deployment

  Last French troops leave Mali, ending nine-year deployment France announced withdrawal in February as relations with Bamako frayed in wake of military coups in 2020 and 2021.In a statement, the French army said on Monday it had met the “major military logistics challenge” of the pullout “in an orderly and safe fashion”.

Video: Operation Barkhane: France has left Mali (Dailymotion)

" It is our mission to close it (this camp, editor's note) proper, with honor, to finish the work of those who preceded us. With honor, that means leaving by leaving a good image of France, which has a long history with Mali. A story that is not only negative. We brought a lot to this country, we see it every day while patrolling the city. The exchanges with the populations are quite simple and healthy. Going with honor is to remain faithful to our values, ”adds Captain Yann.

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Departure of the last French soldiers from Barkhane in Mali, France " remains engaged in the Sahel " This transfer puts an end to more than nine and a half years of presence of the French army in Mali. On the military level, the balance of barkhane is painful: 59 soldiers died in Mali, as Captain Yann recalled. It is also a financial assessment that is measured in billions of euros: 5 billion for the period alone 2015-2020.

: in Mali, with the last French soldiers of the Gao

: in Mali, with the last French soldiers of the Gao Exclusive © France 24 base of armored vehicles at the Gao military base in northern Mali. The French soldiers of the Anti -Jihadist force Barkhane left Mali on Monday after nine years of presence, against the backdrop of stormy relations between Paris and the power junta in Bamako. In Gao, in northern Mali, our special Cyril Payen envoy was able to follow the last hours on the spot of soldiers.

These are also some notable military successes, such as the elimination in June 2020 of

Abdelmalek Droukdel , the chief of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (Aqmi), and that, a year ago, just Adnan Abou Walid al-Sahraoui , the head of the Islamic State group at the Grand Sahara (EIGS). But these successes already seem in ancient history. For the past few weeks, in fact, Mali has been facing an

resurgence of jihadist attacks. And no later than Saturday August 13, in the Ansongo region, Barkhane soldiers shot two armed men who had opened fire in their direction. No doubt one of their latest missions in this country. A man was maneuvering the evacuation and restitution to the Fama, the Malian armed forces, of the Gao base, the largest in the French army in Africa: Colonel Yves Gastine. He is the representative in Gao of the commander of the Barkhane force. He leaves with the feeling of the mission accomplished, but not without concern for the future of Mali.

“Barkhane's departure will create a vacuum. I hope only one thing: that Malian power can take everything into account to continue to fight against the GAT [terrorist armed groups, editor's note]. But it is clear that our departure will open corridors for the jihadists who will continue their evil work.

These are also some notable military successes, with the elimination of several jihadist chefs.

But Barkhane's departure is also done in an unprecedented anti-French climate and in a context of resurgence of attacks by terrorist armed groups.

Olivier Dubois has been detained for 500 days in Mali: the withdrawal of French soldiers "must become a positive factor to obtain his release," said RSF .
guest of Franceinfo this Sunday, the secretary general of Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Christophe Deloire , urged the French authorities not to release the efforts to obtain the release of the independent journalist, held hostage in Mali for 500 days.

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