French army bases in Kidal, Tessalit and Timbuktu, in the north of the country, will be closed by the end of the year and handed over to the Malian army.
While air support will be maintained, the 5,100 French troops currently in the Sahel will be reduced to roughly 3,000. European special forces, deployed in the Takuba task force, will be in charge of supporting the Malian military in combat.
”The idea is not to create a vacuum. The idea is to leave the responsibility of these areas to the Malian state,” said General Etienne du Peyroux of the French Barkhane force. ”To avoid the risk of getting stuck in conflict, we need a response that is not only military.” Läs artikel