British Defense Secretary James Hebby said the United Kingdom was withdrawing its forces from Mali earlier than planned due to political instability in the country.
Since 2020, there have been around 300 British soldiers in the country as part of a UN mission to protect the local population
Hebe said that two coups in Mali within three years had “undermined” efforts to restore security
He also attacked the current Malian government for its work with the Russian mercenary group Wagner.
“The Wagner Group is linked to mass violations of human rights, and the Malian government’s partnership with the Wagner Group is counterproductive to lasting stability and security in their region,” he told MPs.
The operation in Mali has been described as “the most dangerous peacekeeping mission in the world” and 288 UN soldiers have lost their lives there since 2013.
While in the region, British forces conducted long-range reconnaissance patrols against Islamist groups in the region such as Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.
French forces were in Mali at the behest of the then government, however, since seizing power in 2020, Mali’s military rulers have fallen out with France and instead turned to Russia for help in their fight against Islamist rebels who are spreading chaos across the country. much of the country.
There are widespread and credible reports that the Russian mercenary group Wagner is helping Mali, although this is not officially recognized by either Russia or Mali.
However, human rights groups have accused the Russians working with the Malian military of committing atrocities, such as the killing of some 300 civilians in April.
Meanwhile, the attacks of jihadist groups, which was a justification for the soldiers to seize power, only got worse.
More than 4,000 people were killed last year and many parts of the country are out of the control of Mali’s junta.
British military withdrawal from Mali was inevitable. Once the French announced that they would leave their former West African colony, the United Kingdom could not maintain its small unit, stationed in the remote town of Gao