BAMAKO- Mali's ruling military junta on Friday demanded that France withdraw troops from the country without delay and under the supervision of Malian authorities, a junta spokesman said.
Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga said a decision on Thursday by France and European allies to withdraw their forces from the West African nation was a unilateral move that violated military accords between Mali and France.
"In view of its repeated breaches of the defence agreements, the government invites French authorities to withdraw without delay, the Barkhan and Takouba forces from the national territory under the supervision of the Malian authorities," Maiga said, speaking on national television.
Relations between France and its former colony have deteriorated in recent weeks since the junta went back on an agreement to organise an election in February and proposed holding power until 2025.
Announcing the troop withdrawal on Thursday, President Emmanuel Macron said it would take four to six months.
(Reporting by Tiemoko Diallo, Bate Felix and Ngouda Dione Editing by Mark Heinrich and Angus MacSwan) ((email@example.com; +33 1 49 49 55 70 Twitter: @BateFelix;))