French President Emmanuel Macron rejected on Friday Malian authorities' demand to withdraw French anti-terrorist forces Barkhane and Takuba “without delay" from Malian territory.
"We have announced the re-articulation of the device and it will be applied in good order to ensure the security of the UN mission and all forces deployed in Mali. I will not compromise for a second on their security," Macron said at a news conference at the end of the 6th EU-African Union summit in Brussels.
Macron believes that "all this should be done with respect because for nine years France has been helping Mali, equipping, training and accompanying the Malian armies as well as the armies of the region."
He indicated that the French device will be rearranged a few kilometers from the border in Niger and "that in the future" France will "always have a vocation to find cooperation to fight terrorism."
The French response followed an announcement by Mali's transitional authorities after France and its European partners’ decision to gradually withdraw from the West African country.
Mali’s government demanded a withdrawal of the Barkhane and Takuba anti-terror forces "under the supervision of the Malian authorities.”
It considers the disengagement of France and its partners as "flagrant violations" of legal agreements between the two countries.