May 14, 2017 / 8:51 AM / 10 months ago

Macron to visit military troops next week, most likely in Mali: source

PARIS (Reuters) - French President-elect Emmanuel Macron will visit troops deployed abroad at the end of next week, most likely in Mali, a source close to Macron told Reuters on Sunday.

French President-elect Emmanuel Macron arrives to attend the handover ceremony with outgoing President Francois Hollande (not pictured) at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, May 14, 2017. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Former colonial power France intervened in Mali in 2013 to drive out al Qaeda-linked militants who seized northern Mali the year before.

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.

Macron is set to become France’s new leader later on Sunday, replacing Socialist President Francois Hollande.

Reporting by Michel Rose and Marine Pennetier,; Additional reporting by Elizabeth Pineau; Writing by Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by John Irish

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