French President Emmanuel Macron to visit military troops in Mali

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Emmanuel Macron, France's independent presidential candidate, leaves his house to return to Paris after voting in Le Touquet, France, on Sunday, April 23, 2017. French voters are heading to the polls to select two presidential candidates for the runoff round of the 2017 election, whose results have the potential to determine how far the populist wave in Europe will go. Photographer: Christophe Morin/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Emmanuel Macron, France's independent presidential candidate, leaves his house to return to Paris after voting in Le Touquet, France, on Sunday, April 23, 2017. French voters are heading to the polls to select two presidential candidates for the runoff round of the 2017 election, whose results have the potential to determine how far the populist wave in Europe will go. Photographer: Christophe Morin/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Emmanuel Macron, France’s independent presidential candidate, leaves his house to return to Paris after voting in Le Touquet, France, on Sunday, April 23, 2017. French voters are heading to the polls to select two presidential candidates for the runoff round of the 2017 election, whose results have the potential to determine how far the populist wave in Europe will go. Photographer: Christophe Morin/Bloomberg via Getty Images

French President Emmanuel Macron will be undertaking his first African trip starting his visit in Mali, sources close to the leader said on Tuesday.

Macron is expected to visit troops deployed in the country on Thursday or Friday.

France intervened in Mali in 2013 after the government sort for foreign military to drive out al Qaeda-linked militants who seized northern Mali in 2012.

It has since deployed more than 4,000 soldiers, known as the Barkhane force, across the region to hunt down Islamists, including about 1,000 in Mali, Reuters reports.

19 French soldiers have been reported to have been killed since their deployment in the country in 2013.

Mali has been labelled as the deadliest war front for UN peacekeepers after over 20 of them were killed last year.

Fighting is still ongoing even though French forces are scheduled for withdrawal. African and Malian forces will take over

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