BRITISH troops are withdrawing from Mali after the country’s ruling junta struck a pact with Russian mercenaries.
Around 300 soldiers had fought against jihadists as part of the most dangerous peacekeeping mission in the world.
They were intended to be deployed for three years as an iconic demonstration of British support for UN peacekeeping but will now depart a year early.
Military Secretary James Heappey said it was wrong to risk soldiers’ lives when the Malian government “is unwilling to cooperate with us”.
He added: “The work of our troops has been outstanding and they should be proud of what they have achieved there.”
He criticized Mali’s ruling elite, who came to power in a coup for striking a deal with Moscow’s ruthless Wagner group.
Led by Yevgeny Prigozhin – known as “Putin’s cook” – it is also active in Ukraine, Libya and the Central African Republic.
Mr Heappey said: “The Malian government’s partnership with the Wagner Group is counterproductive to continued stability and security in their region.”
He signaled that British troops would now be deployed to neighboring West African countries.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6677200/british-troops-withdrawing-mali-putin/ British troops withdraw from Mali after siding with Putin’s mercenaries