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France’s Macron slams Malian PM’s ‘abandonment’ remarks


PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron says he was “shocked” when Mali’s prime minister described France’s plans to reduce its troop commitment in the African country as an “abandonment.” In his first reaction to Prime Minister Choguel Maiga’s remarks at the U.N. General Assembly last week, Macron on Thursday night called them “unacceptable” and “a shame.” France has more than 5,000 troops in Africa’s Sahel region. The government announced this year that it plans to reduce that number to 2,500-3,000 in the coming months, including by closing some military bases in northern Mali. Maiga’s comments came as France and Germany expressed concern about reports of a possible deployment of Russian mercenaries in the West African country. 

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