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Macron announces the end of France's anti-Islamist Operation Barkhane in the Sahel

Macron announces the end of France's anti-Islamist Operation Barkhane in the Sahel

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PanEuropeanism

SS: President Macron has announced the end of Operation Barkhane. This comes on the heels of the recent military coup in Mali. "Many of our soldiers have fallen, I have a thought for their families. We owe them consistency, clarity," Macron said. Macron said the decision would be finalised by the end of June after consultations with the United States and other European countries involved in West Africa. Jihadists, including the Islamic State have [strengthened](https://i.redd.it/pbmzw97jff271.png) their foothold across the region. France will reduce its bases but will keep a small footprint of several hundred Special Forces in the area.


rayvictor84

My question is who are supplying weapons to them? They are done with ME and Africa. Now, their goal is to destabilise South Asia countries.


aptncy

The Islamic State is far from done in the Middle East / North Africa


realnicewinger

Why do you say that?


kasdercx

Boko haram is still very active in Northern Africa. They formerly aligned themselves with ISIS until boko harams former leader Abubakar Shekau distanced themselves. With his recent death this past month, new leaders may re-establish connections between the two groups. One source even says the ties are already forming. https://humangle.ng/iswap-confirms-shekaus-death-says-its-fighters-were-following-isis-orders/


regionalfire

They control parts of Mozambique right now, even a major port city.


leloonych

Mozambique is not North Africa


DJAshian

The Islamist war in Mozambique is a source of confusion even for local, well-connected informants. When the Cabo Delgado war began, the speculation was that it was a branch of Somalia's Al-Shabaab. In 2019 or thereabout, ISIS began laying claim to insurgent attacks, despite conflicting reports that ISIS North/Central Africa were involved. These days, the insurgents in Cabo are called Ansar Al-Sunna Mozambique, where the higher commanders were perhaps instructed and radicalized abroad in Somalia or Saudi Arabia and the main bulk of fighters are poor, local Mozambican men with no future prospects and offered employment and empowerment in their Islamic faith by the insurgency. But yes, as you said insurgents control the port city of Mocimboa da Praia.


Salix166

To add for people not very familiar with that topic. Seemingly a lot on this thread. There are still a UN and EU Mission in Mali.


Olopi

Most of the other present missions have much less of a combat focus however. The EU's policies actively prohibit fighting, they're only training military (as well as a lot of civil servants) inside fortified compounds with EU equipment that the military then isn't allowed to use for actual combat. And a lot of those efforts were pretty directly linked to France and Barkhane from my understanding. I don't know too much about the UN and AU's involvement though.


Salix166

Yes, the EUTM Mali is a training mission. Fighting is not prohibited, but also not the main goal. Of it's one of four mission statesment is winning back control for the Malian government, while the other three are training/cooperation related. In reality it's training and self-defense which happens. ​ MINUSMA Also called the most dangerous current UN Mission, It's pretty much a stabilization mission(defensive), which is quite intense.


himo123

who will step in their place? or they will let Mali fall under control of ISIS? Mali don't have strong central government like Iraq or Syria


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Okiro_Benihime

What are people like you even doing on this sub with brillant takes like this to offer? You might as well just work for highly acclaimed political think-tanks.


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Okiro_Benihime

ISIS? Northern Africa? Local concerns? AQMI, Ansar Dine and their Islamist allies dunking on the Malian military, taking control of over half of Mali (a country 4 times the size of France) in a matter of weeks in 2013 and who were about to take Bamako, the Malian capital itself, after they hijacked the "local concerns" of the Tuaregs didn't happen... Which is obviously why the Tuaregs later made peace with the Malian authorities or why the Malian government begged for evil colonialist France's help back then in a war the French had nothing to do with. Yes, France pouring money and ressources into this nonsensical insurgency for nearly a decade after the Jihadis realized they couldn't win a conventional war against France when they got smashed back into the northern most part of the country in 2013 was a French plot all along. One of the largest countries in Africa located in an impoverished region and surrounded by vulnerable neighbours falling into the hands of Islamist nutjobs was no biggie at all. The whole thing is an evil plan masterminded by the French who decided to intervene there when they didn't need to. Thank God for the paragon of patriotism that is the new Malian government for having seen through it all after their Russian-backed coup. This is a sub about the intricacies of global geopolitics. French involvement in African affairs post-decolonisation is certainly up to criticism but we could do without takes lacking substance or people in general chiming in on complex issues they don't even seem to know the basics about.


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himo123

mali army isn't enough to fight isis, that's the case with so many African countries. this is nothing like iraq for example. nationalistic leaders won't magically creat armies in short time


KosherSushirrito

The country that can barely hold itself together with European assistance will finally prosper once we remove European assistance. Makes sense.


Risay117

It can may be violent but an identity may form and a system found. Basically a revolution.


KosherSushirrito

And how many lives are we willing to sacrifice in this accelerationist gambit?


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cookiedanslesac

US always refused to step in regarding Mali.


Okiro_Benihime

Aren't you guys pulling out of Aghanistan right now? Why would "Europeans" expect you to step in when you're in the midst of pulling out of a 20 year-long asymmetrical war yourself. France isn't going to blame you for not taking part in a costly operation from one end of the Sahel to the other when it itself is no longer interested in doing so. The Russian-backed coup was a blessing in disguise. France wanted to pull out for years now. The French military retook the northern half of the country from the Jihadists and handed it back to the Malians 8 years ago. It is more than enough. They can now deal with the raiding parties on their own alongside the other states of the G5 Sahel. Or ask for Xi or Putin's help if they want.


OdaShqipetare

Little by little they will see that their peers are dying one after the other and their pipe dreams that they once had in their youths are way past schedule and unable to materialize. Don't think the West can keep up in the ME for 2 decades longer.


HariSeldonOlivaw

Mali is not in the Middle East. It's not part of the MENA designation either. It's in Western Africa. Which only serves to show the scope of the conflict with terrorist groups, and how far they reach.


Risay117

People like to tie these regions together due to Islam.


Salix166

We have still a EU and a UN Mission there.


ginforth

>strong central government like Iraq or Syria Did you just really say that?


bas528

Relative to* is what he meant I assume


himo123

yeah. what is wrong about that?


PreppyAlaskan

Yes both countries have strong central governments, do you have a problem with that statement? Or do you believe they are in similar situations as Mail?


murat1133

None of them have it. But nobody apart from locals and France cares about the Jihadis in Mali.


cookiedanslesac

The issue is that local soldiers rally ISIS either for money, faith, or death avoidance. With these conditions France cannot any longer stay in the country and work with the local army forces, everything is falling apart, as well sadly as hope.


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all_is_love6667

same day they announce they killed the aqmi leader strange but happy coincidence


madladolle

Complete failure for France. Allowed islamists to grow stronger, lowered opinion of the French amonst the local populace, watch a coup take place and did nothing. Smh. They've also pulled in other european countries via the special ops group.


Haytham87

Yeah because reacting to the coup was totally a thing to do when local people already see your military presence as a colonial one :) And btw the French army did react lightly by stopping all cooperation between the Malian army and Barkhane.


VeronXVI

Protecting the uranium mines in Niger is a geopolitical must. Those mines will be protected no matter what. The rest is more nuanced. The best explanation I've heard for France's involvement in the Sahel is that they're trying to prevent a future migrant exodus to Europe and France itself. Doesn't look like they've been too successful though.


Electronic_Ad5481

What I've heard is that insurgents just tend to avoid direct conflict with any French forces, so it's mostly a game of the French trying to find them and then send special forces or attack jets to hit them. It would be possible for France to do more and actually contain the threat sort of the way the US actually contained the threat in Iraq after the surge in 2008. People forget that Iraq was actually peaceful for a couple of years well relatively peaceful anyway, until the Syrian civil War kicked off and aqap became ISIS. If France really wanted to stabilize the Sahel they would need many many more soldiers there than the 5,000 or so that they have now. And I don't think France is willing to foot that kind of bill, that's why they're trying to get more European partners involved. It's made me wonder if macron's push for a European army is sort of a way to loop in those allies anyway.


_samarpan_

I think France saw its involvement in africa as a temporary fix for the eventual exodus....they never wanted to get involved more than that


maracay1999

> What I've heard is that insurgents just tend to avoid direct conflict with any French forces, so it's mostly a game of the French trying to find them and then send special forces or attack jets to hit them. > > Mali is 2x the size of France, so just the insurgent-controller portion of the country is like trying to control an area the size of France with a relatively small expeditionary force.


sheckaaa

I don’t disagree at all, but I want to clarify by saying that France mostly gets its uranium from Kazakhstan


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VeronXVI

This article is about them disbanding their special forces in Mali, not Niger. It’s close by, but no, I don’t think they are ready to give up the uranium just yet. The economic gain from the uranium mines is not the single reason for keeping them, and the Niger mines only make up a small part of the World’s supply. The larger point is that you simply can’t let uranium mines fall into the control of Islamist extremists. The extremists could not make nuclear warheads with it on their own, but they could sell it to someone who could, or make dirty bombs. If France leaves, someone else will have to pick up the responsibility. Kind of a universal constant if you can call it that.


Throwaway000070699

From a think tank not too long ago: [What if France Ended Operation Barkhane?](https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/conf_proceedings/CFA1300/CFA1338-1/RAND_CFA1338-1.pdf)


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Joko11

>To exploit Sahel's natural resources This is all cool, but then you find out that vast majority of Uranium imported into France does not come from Africa. [1](https://www.statista.com/chart/12304/countries-with-the-biggest-production-volume-of-uranium/) I also implore you to look at exports from Sahel to France, currently Portugal seems to have higher strategic importance than the region. [2](https://oec.world/en/profile/country/fra)