Mr Macron told West African leaders that French soldiers will not be in the region “forever”

President Emmanuel Macron has warned that France will withdraw its troops from Mali if political instability there leads to further Islamist radicalization.

It follows a second coup in nine months in the West African nation.

Mr. Macron warned of the risk of Mali “moving towards” Islamist influence.

France has 5,100 troops in the Sahel region which has been a front line in the war against Islamist militancy.

French troops have been supporting forces in Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad to fight militants in the Sahel region since 2013.

Mr Macron told the Jounal du Dimanche newspaper that he had told regional leaders that France would not support countries where there was no democratic or transitional legitimacy, and that France did not have the intends to keep his troops in Africa forever.

For decades, France has provided military support to the rulers of its former colonies in Africa, often sending troops or launching airstrikes to counter armed rebels.

French soldiers in a military vehicle during the French President's visit to Gao, in northern Mali.  Jan 13, 2017

French troops participate in Operation Barkhane against militants in the Sahel

What is happening in Mali?

The coup leader, Colonel Assimi Goïta, was appointed interim president by the Constitutional Court on Friday, two days after declaring himself interim leader.

He defended the impeachment of President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane as necessary because they had failed in their duties and sought to sabotage the country’s transition.

Soldiers arrested and detained the two men after a cabinet reshuffle which Colonel Goïta said he had not been consulted.

He also led the coup in August, which saw President-elect Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta ousted from office.

Col Goïta has now promised that a new Prime Minister will be appointed in a few days and that the elections will still take place next year as planned.

Colonel Assimi Go & # xef; ta addresses the press at the Malian Ministry of Defense in Bamako, Mali

Colonel Goïta has carried out two coups d’état in the past nine months

Meanwhile, regional leaders will hold a “consultation” meeting in Ghana on Sunday, which Col Goïta is expected to attend.

Why is Mali so unstable?

It is difficult to implement reforms quickly – and the vast landlocked country is poor, with large areas underdeveloped.

A coup in 2012 led to Islamist militants exploiting the chaos and seizing the north of the country.

French troops helped regain territory, but attacks continued as insurgents took advantage of the continuing political instability in the region.

All of this has led to a loss of public confidence in the ability of army chiefs to fight the Islamist insurgency that has spread to neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger.

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