Mali is pulling out of a multinational military force fighting Islamist militants in the West Africa’s Sahel region.
Mali said on Sunday that this was a protest against its rejection as head of the G5 regional group that also includes Mauritania, Chad, Burkina Faso and Niger.
The statement by Mali’s junta, which ousted former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta in a 2020 coup, also blamed a lack of progress in the fight against the Islamists and the failure to hold recent meetings in Mali.
The force was set up in 2017 to counter jihadists who have swept across the region in recent years, killing thousands of people and forcing millions to flee their homes.
But it has been hobbled by a lack of funding and has struggled to reduce the violence.
There has been no comment yet from other G5 members over Mali’s announcement.
Mali’s withdrawal could further isolate the country whose economy has been hit by sanctions since the coup.