Mali CrisisFrench Barkhane force soldiers who wrapped up a four-month tour of duty in the Sahel board a US Air Force C130 transport plane, leave their base in Gao, Mali Wednesday June 9, 2021. France has suspended joint military operations with Malian forces until the junta led by Col. Assimi Goita, who retook control of Mali's transitional government May 24, complies with international demands to restore civilian rule. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
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PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday announced the future reduction of France’s military presence fighting Islamic extremism in Africa’s Sahel region.
In a news conference, Macron spoke about the “profound transformation of” France’s military operation in Mali and neighboring countries.
The French operation will be replaced by another cooperation and support mission of French troops that will further rely on regional partners and continue to focus on fighting against Islamic extremists, he said.
Details will be unveiled in the coming weeks, he said, including on the number of troops France is keeping in the region.
France now has more than 5,000 troops in Africa’s Sahel region.