Chad Army Not Up for Guerrilla War in Mali, Leaves

President Declares 'Mission Accomplished'

Chad’s decision to join the French invasion of Mali in January was met with praise from Western officials, who envisioned them taking a leadership position in a protracted occupation of the northern parts of the nation, allowing France to draw down.

Just three months later, however, Chad is openly conceding that their military isn’t up to the task, and instead of doing the Western thing and just committing to a failed mission for years and years, they’re immediately withdrawing all their troops.

“Face-to-face fighting with the Islamists is over,” insisted Chad President Idriss Deby, adding “our soldiers will return to Chad. They have accomplished their mission.”

Deby made the announcement to the French media, warning that his military wasn’t prepared to fight a “shadowy, guerrilla-style war.” Chad is estimated to have lost 30 soldiers in their role in the war so far. It is unclear if French officials knew about his intentions to withdraw ahead of time, but earlier this month they announced French troops would stay in Mali forever.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.