The announcement that French forces will leave their bases of Kidal, Tessalit and Timbuktu between now and the beginning of 2022 is causing alarm in the population of those cities.
The groups that demanded the departure of French military forces are now silent and the locals are saying the malian forces will be incapable of fighting the terror groups.
Le président français Emmanuel Macron a détaillé au cours d'un sommet du G5 Sahel vendredi 9 juillet le plan de reconfiguration de la présence française dans la région, un mois après l'annonce de la…amp.rfi.fr
Well, not unreasonably given those where amongst the first over-run by the Jihadists last time.
From memory the jihadists advanced rapidly from the north east of the country , and were only halted at the outskirts of Mopti (roughly in the middle) by the excellent French intervention.
Now we can all debate whether the Jihadists could have advanced through to Bamako (or frankly if they wanted to), but if I were in Timbutku, Kidal or Tessalit which all look a long way from Bamako and deep within areas I suspect would be in the area of influence of (if not shadow governmeny by) Jihadists, I'd be making sure I had some modest clothes in the house and could recite the Shahada very well if asked.