European counterterrorist force leaves Mali

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**Mali's transitional government demanded France leave the Sahelian state "without delay” in February. The European counterterrorist force -Takuba- which includes French specials forces ended operations in Mali on June 30. The spokesman for the French General staff broke the news Friday.

France and its partners working in counter-terrorism missions in Sahel, namely the states involved in the Takuba task force, will no longer operate in Mali.

The spokesman for the French General staff broke the news Friday.

The reorganization of the French military troops in Sahel (...) led to the end of (...) the Takuba operations in Mali as of June 30”, general Pascal Ianni said.

The withdrawal is not a surprise, in February, Mali's army-led government demanded France to leave the Sahelian state "without delay”.

The European Takuba task force was launched on the initiative of France back in 2020. Once it reached its full operational capacity in April 2021, it gathered around 800 special forces troops from Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden.

They were tasked with training Malian troops.

The Takuba task force withdrawal comes before the departure of French troops deployed in the Barkhane military operation. They are expected to leave Mali in August.

France and some of its European partners plan on remaining present in other Sahelian countries.

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