June 13, 2024

French President Emmanuel Macron, in an interview with French publication Le Point, emphasized the vital role of France’s military operations in the Sahel. He suggested that without these interventions, Mali, Burkina Faso, and even Niger might have faced dire consequences. Macron referred to Operations Serval and Barkhane, which began in the mid-2000s. Notably, French troops were relocated from Mali to Niger following a rupture in relations between Malian military leaders and France. Macron defended these operations, stating they were carried out at the request of African states and had been successful. However, he acknowledged the need to reconsider involvement when new regimes prioritize interests other than combating terrorism, despite the tragedy this poses for affected states. Macron also underlined that France’s role in the Sahel was more than just security, emphasizing a partnership approach. Despite General Abdurahman Tchiani’s declaration terminating military deals, France has not officially recognized this, and French troops remain stationed in Niger.

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