Mali pulls out of military alliance with Niger, others

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Mali on Sunday said it was leaving a five-country military alliance in the Sahel region of Africa.

The alliance known as the Group of five (G5) Sahel also includes Chad, Mauritania, Niger, and Burkina Faso.

The G5 Joint Force was created in 2017 to shore up efforts to establish order on the countries’ common border regions.

In a statement read on national television, Mali’s interim military government announced that it was withdrawing “from all organs and bodies of the G5 Sahel,” claiming that Mali was being exploited by unnamed foreign powers.

The exit comes at a time of significant political tensions between Mali and France.

Mali witnessed a military coup in May 2021, when the country’s military ousted a transitional civilian government.

Coup leader Assimi Goïta proclaimed himself the new interim president shortly afterwards, and has since then been accused by critics of delaying preparations for promised presidential and parliamentary elections.

The ruling junta maintains close contacts with Russia and is said to have hired fighters from the Wagner mercenary group.

A number of armed groups are active in the Sahel region, which stretches south of the Sahara from the Atlantic to the Red Sea.

Some have pledged allegiance to the terrorist groups Islamic State or al-Qaeda. (dpa/NAN)

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