France and Operation Barkhane: looking for a transition,

On December 10, the head of the General Staff of the Armies, General François Lecointre, made an official visit to the French forces of Operation Barkhane. During this visit General Lecointre met with the French newspaper Le Monde. The content of this interview has generated debate, since, on the eve of the eighth anniversary of the French operations Serval and Barkhane, the chief of general staff has affirmed his desire to limit the level of commitment of the French armed forces in the Sahel. […]

Although General Lecointre is in favour of limiting the commitment, he is aware that the decision depends on the Executive Power, and that, by no means would it be a matter of leaving the field, but rather of a sustainable and intelligent evolution, so as not to be replaced by the Russians or the Chinese, as has happened in other African scenarios, for example, in the case of the Central African Republic with Russia. For all these reasons, taking into account that the local Armed Forces are not yet ready, France is perfectly aware that one cannot and should not leave yet, but the words of General Lecointre show France’s intention to seek a transition strategy in order to be able to start a withdrawal of French troops as from the tenth anniversary.  […]

In the absence of any improvement in the fight against terrorism, the Malian government is seriously considering negotiating with two of the leaders of jihadism in Mali belonging to the JNIM group, linked to Al-Qaeda. France has already expressed on several occasions that it considers it a mistake to negotiate with jihadists, whatever group they may be.  Läs artikel