Mali repeats demand that Denmark withdraws troops from West African nation

2022-01-27 11:35:01
Mali repeats demand that Denmark withdraws troops from West African nation

Mali has repeated its demand that Denmark "immediately withdraw" its troops from the West African country after France and 14 other countries urged Mali to allow Danish forces to remain.

In a joint statement on Wednesday, the 15 countries rejected Mali's government accusation that the Danish troops in the Takuba Task Force was made without a proper legal basis.

In response to Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod saying on Tuesday that the troops were deployed by a "clear invitation," the Malian government said on Wednesday it was surprised because a decision on the Danish request in June to deploy troops was still pending.

"No accord authorises the deployment of Danish special forces to the Takuba Task Force," the Malian government said in a statement.

A French mission began in Mali in 2013 with the purported aim of countering militants linked to al-Qaeda and Daesh terrorist groups.

France, a former colonizer of Africa, also deployed thousands of soldiers to presumably prevent separatist forces from reaching Mali’s capital, Bamako.

In December, it withdrew from northern Mali and the historic city of Timbuktu nine years after launching a war without the initial approval of the United Nations or even the French parliament.

The war caused several thousand deaths and more than a million people to flee their homes.

The withdrawal came amid growing demonstrations against France’s military presence in Mali which has been racked by two military coups in little over a year.

France has had more than 50 military interventions in Africa since 1960, when many of its former colonies gained nominal independence. Mali remains among the poorest countries in the world, but that’s not due to a lack of resources.

France currently has 5,100 troops in the arid and volatile Sahel region. Under a new plan, they will be reduced to 2,500-3,000 troops. Analysts say it is premature to call it the end of France's military intervention in Africa, believing Paris is only readjusting its post-colonial plans.


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