Macron suggests France may pull out troops from Mali

PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron suggested France will pull troops from Mali if the country’s institutional instability persists and inhibits the fight against Islamic extremists. Macron said “our priority in Mali is the fight against terrorism and the presence of our forces on the ground is not enough in this fight. It also requires the strengthening of stable and legitimate institutions.” France has over 5,000 troops in Africa’s Sahel region. In a joint news conference with Macron, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany, which has several hundred soldiers taking part in the UN stabilization and European Union training missions in Mali, sees the need to continue those deployments. She added, however, that there were “red lines” including the need to hold elections.