Three likely changes in Mali after France withdraws - and two options for the junta

Erforth, Benedikt / Julian Bergmann
External Publications (2022)

published on theconversation.com, 13.03.2022

Volltext/Full text

Eight years have passed since the French military launched its operations in Mali at the request of Mali’s then interim government. Mali, at the time, was experiencing a political and humanitarian crisis that brought to the fore prolonged grievances of parts of the northern populations. After years of prolonged conflict and a second coup within a year, in June 2021, France’s President Emmanuel Macron announced the winding down of the French Operation Barkhane. Even prior to the coup, anti-French sentiment in Mali had been rising and public opinion in France had turned against the military operation. A week before the Russian military invasion of Ukraine. France and its African and European allies confirmed that they would withdraw the 2,400 French troops and a smaller European force from Malian territory. The withdrawal is expected to take four to six months to complete. The full impact of the French withdrawal is difficult to estimate at this point. Uncertainties aside, the withdrawal of France will have some reasonably predictable effects. These include the emergence of a new security vacuum, a further alienation between the junta and European partners, and new challenges to development and humanitarian aid efforts.

About the authors

Bergmann, Julian

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Bergmann

Erforth, Benedikt

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Erforth

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