France Insists Mali Transition Must be Quick

*The French flag
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*Says French military action to continue

By Fatima Sule

Paris, Aug. 27, 2020 (Reuters/NAN) France’s Foreign Minister said on Thursday the transition in Mali needs to be quick, but that the coup d’etat in the country would not stop French military operations targeting militants.

The leaders of the military coup that ousted President Ibrahim Keita in Mali on Aug. 18 have told a delegation of West African mediators that they want to stay in power for a three-year transition period, Nigeria said on Wednesday.

“The transition must be done quickly, power returned to civilians and that there is a political agenda put in place to allow this country to find political stability,’’ Jean-Yves Le Drian said.

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He said the West African mediation had to be concluded quickly to restore some stability because it was indispensable to continue the fight against militants.

Former colonial power, France, has some 5,100 troops in the Sahel region with a large portion operating from Mali, where it intervened in 2013 to stop a militant advance on the capital Bamako.

“The French operation will continue,’’ Le Drian said, adding that the battle would continue, just as the Junta also claimed.

(Reuters/NAN)

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