Citing Presence of Russian Mercenaries, Britain to Withdraw Troops From Mali

Britain announced Monday it is withdrawing its peacekeepers from Mali, saying the West African country´s growing reliance on Russian mercenaries is undermining stability.

Armed Forces Minister James Heappey said the 300-strong British force that has been stationed in Mali since 2020 as part of a United Nations peacekeeping mission will leave earlier than planned. He did not give a timeline.

Heappey told lawmakers in the House of Commons that “responsibility for all of this sits in Bamako,” Mali´s capital. “Two coups in three years have undermined international efforts to advance peace.”

Tensions have grown between Mali, its African neighbors and the West after Mali´s government allowed Russian mercenaries from the Wagner Group to deploy on its territory.