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France withdraws forces from military base in historical city of Mali

France withdraws forces from military base in historical city of Mali

Bamako, Dec 15 (Prensa Latina) The French military detachment stationed in Timbuktu left today their base in once splendid Malian city after a stay of almost nine stormy years marked by attacks by Islamist groups.
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The ceremony precedes by a few days the announced visit to Mali next Monday of French President Emmanuel Macron, to meet with host, Assimi Goita, and visit the military contingent stationed here.

The two presidents are at odds over the decision of the African nation’s government to hire a private Russian security firm to support its army in offensives against Islamist insurgent groups in the former overseas French possession.

One of the topics on the meeting’s agenda will be the date of the general elections, a pending issue for the de facto government of Mali, sanctioned by the Economic Community of West African States, which threatened with more punitive measures if the deadline set for next January 1 is not complied with.

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