February 6, 2023

Published from Mumbai, Delhi & Bhopal

Macron announces official end of French military operation in the Sahel

Paris : French President Emmanuel Macron has announced the official end of the French military operation Barkhane in the Sahel region in Africa.

“We do not intend to engage without a time limit,” Macron said on Wednesday in Toulon in the south of France.

However, he added that military support from France to the African states in the Sahel region will continue in another form, Xinhua news agency reported.

Since 2014, France has deployed around 5,100 troops to the G5 Sahel countries — Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger — under operation Barkhane. The goal was to help the G5 maintain control of their territories, and prevent the region from becoming a haven for Islamist groups.

France will hold discussions with its African partners on the format of its military support and on the current missions of French military bases in the Sahel and West Africa.

In February this year, Macron announced that France’s withdrawal of troops from Mali would take four to six months. Between 2,500 and 3,000 French soldiers were in the African country.

He emphasised the important roles played by France and by Europe in the fight against terrorism in Africa. France “will continue this fight with neighbouring countries of the Sahel region such as the Gulf of Guinea and Niger,” he added.

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