Aborting the mission: What after the French withdrawal led by Mali?

It’s not a question of if but how: The French president is hosting African and European allies before announcing the withdrawal from Mali. Relations with the Bamako Military Council have been seriously strained since the second coup in several years and the military’s rapprochement with Russia and the mercenaries of the Wagner Group.

Nine years have passed since then-President François Hollande pounced to halt the advance of the jihadist insurgency south and liberate the far north. But the military victory was by no means a magical go to reform the politics of one of the world’s poorest countries.

What does this withdrawal mean? To where? With the entire world chasing the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, inquire about the logistics of mobilizing 2,300 troops and heavy equipment, most likely to neighboring Niger.

Welcoming a hero in 2013 may seem like a fading memory for Mali as a military regime under embargo stirred anti-French sentiment, a country whose future is more uncertain than ever and whose ultimate fate will affect the entire region.

>> Watch our correspondents’ programme: The specter of Russia’s Wagner Group looms over Mali after the coup

Produced by Alessandro Cenos, Juliet Loren and Leopoldine Eribarin.

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