France to unveil shift in West Africa anti-jihadist fight | The Guardian Nigeria News


French President Emmanuel Macron will announce Wednesday a strategic shift for its military forces deployed in the Sahel region of Western Africa which are helping several countries contain jihadist insurgencies, his office said Tuesday.

Macron will travel to a naval base at Toulon to officially mark the end of the Barkhane operation, following the pull-out of French forces from Mali earlier this year.

Around 3,000 French soldiers remain in Niger, Chad and Burkina Faso, and while those numbers are not expected to change soon, there will be “a significant adjustment for our bases in Africa”, an official in Macron’s office told AFP.

The goal is “to reduce the exposure and visibility of our military forces in Africa and to focus on cooperation and support… mainly in terms of equipment, training, intelligence and operational partnerships for countries that want it,” the official said.

The French deployment was launched in 2013 when jihadist rebels took over much of…

Source: Guardian Newspaper