Macron announces "profound transformation" of French military presence in Sahel

Jun 11, 2021

Paris (France), June 11: President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday announced that France's Operation Barkhane in the Sahel would no longer exist in its current form and an international alliance to fight terrorism in the region would be created.
"Following consultations with our partners, we will initiate a profound transformation of our military presence in the Sahel," Macron told reporters.
"This transformation will result in a change of model, the transition to a new framework, which means the end of the Barkhane mission as an external operation," he said. "The time has come. The continuation of our commitment in the Sahel will not be in the same way."
"We will make a drawdown in an organised way," Macron said, adding that the new military alliance "will preserve France's commitments" in the region.
Some 5,100 French troops have been deployed since 2014 as part of Operation Barkhane to help G5 Sahel countries (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger) maintain control of their territory while also preventing the region from becoming a safe-haven for Islamist groups.
Security in the region remains volatile as Jihadist fighters have staged a series of deadly strikes in the zone and already fragile political stability has been weakened by military coups.
Source: Xinhua