Demonstrators burn EU flag

Malians celebrate French retreat by burning EU flag

Malians gather in the capital Bamako to celebrate the withdrawal of French troops. They celebrate France's departure by burning a European flag, with some demonstrators carrying placards with messages such as "Thanks Wagner" and "France is a terrorist nation".

Malians gather in the capital Bamako to celebrate the withdrawal of French troops. They celebrate France's departure by burning a European flag, with some demonstrators carrying placards with messages such as "Thanks Wagner" and "France is a terrorist nation".

Mali's army-led government on Friday asked France to withdraw its forces from the Sahel state "without delay", calling into question Paris' plans to pull out over several months.

A Malian government spokesman added in a statement announced on public television that the results of France's nine-year military engagement in the conflict-torn country were "not satisfactory".

On Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that he was withdrawing troops from Mali after a breakdown in relations with the nation's ruling military junta.

France first intervened in Mali in 2013 to combat a jihadist insurgency that emerged one year prior. It currently has around 4,600 troops stationed across the Sahel, 2,400 of them in Mali.