Last week, President Emmanuel Macron announced that France will be “adjusting” its military strategy in the Sahel. The deaths of five French soldiers in Mali in the last four weeks has shocked his government, and begun to rattle French public opinion about its long-term military intervention in the region.
A member of France’s National Assembly Defence Commission, also finally admitted an awkward truth, telling journalists last week that “we cannot say that the situation [in the Sahel] has improved in the last eight years…. The human and financial cost is out of all proportion to what can be drawn from it. The Sahel peoples must be given back the means to decide for themselves.” […]
Bruno Charbonneau, a Professor at the Royal Military College Saint-Jean in Canada, has long spoken out about the weaknesses of military strategies in the Sahel, especially the France-led focus on counter-terrorism. “The narrow military focus reflects Western stabilization priorities” he argues. “This emphasis means that international military actors, and regional governments, don’t have to address more complex questions about the drivers of the crises. A key consequence is that it sustains the impunity of local and governmental actors.” Läs artikel