Anti-France sentiment is running high in Mali and Burkina Faso after military coups there led to fallouts with Paris and pullout of French troops
France’s President Emmanuel Macron announced on Monday a “noticeable reduction” of French troops in Africa following a withdrawal from Mali and Burkina Faso after years of fighting jihadists there.
Click here for an Explainer on the French anti-jihadist force in Africa.
“The change will happen in the coming months with a noticeable reduction of our numbers and a greater presence in these bases of our African partners,” Macron said ahead of a four-nation African tour, noting that the “reorganization… does not intend to be a withdrawal.”
“We will remain but with a reduced footprint… We will do more training, more equipping, and better accompanying” local troops according to their needs, he said, adding that some bases would become training academies, while others would become “partner” bases.
Macron said they would adapt with fewer French military personnel on the ground and an “Africanization” of their staff, who would see a “rise in the presence of their African partners according to goals defined” by these partners.
Anti-France sentiment is running high in former French colonies Mali and Burkina Faso after military coups there that led to fallouts with Paris and the pullout of French troops from both countries.
Macron will take off for a four-nation tour of central African countries on Wednesday as Paris seeks to counter growing Chinese and Russian influence on the continent. He will visit Gabon for an environmental summit, followed by Angola, then the Republic of Congo, and finally the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.