Thursday, June 10, 2021

France to scale down W Africa military operations - BBC News

counter-terrorism operations in the Sahel region


France is to scale down counter-terrorism operations in the Sahel region of West Africa after eight years, President Emmanuel Macron has said.



The existing 5,100-strong task force will be incorporated into a broader international mission, he announced.

French forces have been operating in Mali, Chad, Mauritania, Niger, and Burkina Faso to fight militants.

Last week, France paused operations in Mali following a military coup.

Militants linked to al Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS) group have strengthened their grip on the region, which has become a front line in the war against Islamist extremism.

It is also a major transit route for illegal drugs, weapons and jihadists.

"We will keep a counter-terrorism pillar with special forces with several hundred forces... and there will be a second pillar that will be co-operation, and which we will reinforce," Mr Macron said during a press conference on Thursday.

The president said the drawdown of troops would take place in an "organised way".

"France has been involved for a little over eight years in the Sahel," Mr Macron said. "Many of our soldiers have fallen. I think of their families. We owe them consistency, clarity. We're going to learn from what worked and also learn from what didn't."...BBC

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 Le président français Emmanuel Macron a annoncé jeudi une "transformation profonde" de la présence militaire française au Sahel, et la mise en place d'une alliance internationale antijihadiste dans la région.

 

 

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