"Bad news" for Emmanuel Macron

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Leading Research Fellow
Affiliation: Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences
Address: Moscow, Москва
Journal nameAsia and Africa Today
EditionIssue 4

At the end of 2019, the Pentagon Chief M. Esper ordered the African Command of the US Armed Forces to prepare a comprehensive plan for the withdrawal of troops by January 2020, the publication reported. Under this plan, the United States can leave its military base in Niger and stop supporting France in the fight against Islamists in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso. On January

13, 2020, at a meeting with NATO colleagues in Brussels, General M. Millie, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, confirmed that the White House is considering a significant reduction in its military presence in the Sahel. And when E. Macron learned about it, said that the withdrawal of the US military from Africa would be «bad news.» The Champs Elysees began to urgently strengthen the expeditionary force in the Sahel. The Minister of Defense of the Fifth Republic F. Parley ordered the deployment of French military drones in the conflict zone, and on January 14, 2020, E. Macron announced the sending of another 220 troops to the Center for the French Combined Forces of Operation “Barkhan”. The armed forces of France intervened in the conflict in Mali four years ago, but the situation in the Sahel only worsened during this period. The fight against Islamic extremists does not bring tangible results, the state unity of Mali is still in doubt, and terrorist attacks in the region have become systematic. The African satellites of France, united in  the  military-political  alliance  G5S,  are  not  too  willing  to  participate  in  battles  with  co-religionists.  The  population  of  these countries is more likely to sympathize with the Islamists than the French «peacekeepers,» and the power elites seek to derive only material and political benefits from participating in the French-controlled alliance. Moreover, in these countries, formerly colonies of the French Empire, anti-French sentiments are growing, and youth are demanding the withdrawal of French troops from Africa. In this situation, the Champs Elysees is forced to take on the brunt of the struggle against the Islamists in the Sahel. In the context of the economic crisis provoked by the coronavirus pandemic, hopes for effective EU assistance are becoming increasingly illusory. The withdrawal of US troops from Africa or a significant reduction in their numbers on the continent would jeopardize the success of Operation “Barkhan”.

KeywordsFrance, E.Macron, D.Trump, USA, Sahel, Barkhan
Publication date29.05.2020
Number of characters31239
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