Operation «Barkhan»: An inglorious end?

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Leading Research Fellow
Affiliation: Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences
Address: Moscow, Russian Federation
Journal nameAsia and Africa Today
EditionIssue 1

In June 2021, French President Emmanuel Macron announced the forthcoming withdrawal of troops from the states of the Sahel and termination of Operation «Barkhan». It was initiated in 2014 towards to battle with Islamic terrorism in Africa. The theater of war has spread to the five states of the Sahel - Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad. The actions of the expeditionary force were not successful. The presence of French troops in the region caused growing discontent among Africans. It became obvious that they were not here to fight terrorism, but to protect French interests in West Africa. Military-political crisis 2020-2021 in Mali, the removal of President I.B. Keita from power in this country has changed the attitude of the French towards what is happening in the Sahel. E.Macron was unable to attract the EU countries to participate actively in hostilities against Islamists and separatists in West Africa. In the context of the crisis caused by the COVD-19 pandemic, the growth of protest actions of the «yellow vests», criticism of his policy from political opponents, the French president decided to withdraw troops from the Sahel. In addition, Macron sends a signal to the leaders of the countries belonging to the military-political alliance G5 Sahel: you hold on to power as long as you rely on French bayonets. Finally, he hopes to boost his rating on the eve of the election in 2022.

KeywordsFrance, Operation «Barkhan», Mali, states of the Sahel, West Africa, European Union, alliance G5 Sahel
Publication date28.01.2022
Number of characters29086
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