The Elysee Palace has announced an end to France’s anti-militant operation in Africa’s Sahel region, but has left in its wake incidents of rights abuses committed by the French military yet to be prosecuted.
The French president is learning yet another hard lesson in foreign policy mere weeks before the April presidential election.
While some analysts fear further destabilisation in a region mired in conflict, others suggest the withdrawal of a largely unpopular foreign military presence could lead to welcome intra-Malian and regional dialogue.
A statement signed by France and its African and European allies said that "multiple obstructions" by the ruling junta meant that the conditions were no longer in place to operate in Mali.
Denmark has accused coup generals of playing a dirty political game after the junta withdrew the invitation to deploy Danish troops.
Junta ruling the West African nation demands Denmark "immediately" withdraw troops, saying it was not consulted and the deployment failed to follow protocol.
France lowers its flag and hands over keys of a military base to Mali's military, a withdrawal that comes amid growing local opposition to its presence in the volatile African region.
French defence minister accuses military junta of "hypocrisy" and "bad faith" after the African country's prime minister said Paris was abandoning it.
French President Macron announced last month Operation Barkhane, a seven-year campaign fighting militants linked to Al Qaeda and Daesh in the Sahel, will formally end.
Insecurity in the Sahel region, stands as a symptom of a deeper crisis of governance and political instability.
Local officials say France's Operation Barkhane killed six civilians who had gone to hunt birds and rabbits in remote Gao region, but French forces claim they targeted militants.
Investigation finds worrying trend with French soldiers openly showing sympathies with neo-Nazi ideas and symbols.
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