European Union to halt military training missions in Mali.

The European Union says it is stopping its military training missions in Mali but will keep a presence in the Sahel region where jihadist attacks have been spreading in recent years.

The EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said ministers had cited the presence of Russian mercenaries from the Wagner Group as one of the reasons for the decision not to continue training Malian troops.

Rights groups believe Russian and Malian soldiers killed dozens of civilians during an operation against Islamist militants in central Mali late last month.

France, which has led the international military effort in the Sahel, said in February it was pulling troops out of Mali after a breakdown in relations with the ruling military junta that seized power last year.