France declares troop drawdown in Sahel region of Africa

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France has announced a drawdown of its military operations against militants in the Sahel region of Africa. Macron said France's operations in West Africa would come to an end and be merged into a broader international mission. France currently has 5,100 troops in the Sahel region that encompasses several African countries including Mali. The presence of French forces in the Sahel is rejected by some politicians and locals as a colonial throwback. In January, Malians protested in the capital Bamako against France’s military presence in their country. Thousands of soldiers and civilians have died in the Sahel conflict over the past years. More than two million people have been displaced. 

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