COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Denmark will start pulling its troops out of Mali, after the African country’s transitional junta government this week insisted on an immediate withdrawal, Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said on Thursday.
“We can see that the Malian transitional government, or the coup generals, last night sent out a public statement where they again reiterated that Denmark is not welcome in Mali, and we of course will not put up with that, so therefore we have decided to withdraw our soldiers home,” Kofod told journalist at a press briefing in Copenhagen.
Denmark had sent 105 military personnel to Mali earlier this month, after what it said was a “clear invitation” by Mali.
But the Malian government said this week it was surprised by the Danish presence, because a decision had yet to be made on a request from Denmark in June to deploy troops.
France and 14 other countries urged Mali late on Wednesday to allow Danish special forces to remain in the African country.
(Reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard, Stine Jacobsen and Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; Editing by Toby Chopra and Bernadette Baum)