According to the Vanguard daily, French President Emmanuel Macron boasted that Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger most likely wouldn’t exist today if it weren’t for France’s military operations in the Sahel region. CONTINUE READING>>>>>
Regarding France’s interventions in the middle of the 2000s in Operations Serval and Barkhane, Macron stated the following in an interview with the French weekly Le Point:
“There would probably no longer be a Mali…Burkina Faso and I’m not sure there would still be Niger.”
The report, citing the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) as the source, said French troops were moved from Mali to Niger after Malian military leaders cut ties with the former colonial power.
Macron insisted that the interventions were done “at the request of African states” and described them as “successful”.
His comment is coming as his policy faces scrutiny after his country loses its relation with its last remaining ally, Niger, and is facing increasing hostility and negative sentiments from Africans.
The French President further explained that while those operations reflected France’s honour and responsibility, the country could no longer remain involved “when there is a coup d’état, and the priority of the new regimes is not to fight terrorism” even though this is “tragic for the states concerned.”
He defended his administration’s policy in the Sahel as one of partnership rather than one focusing on security.
Niger’s military leader, General Abdurahman Tchiani, had announced the termination of all military deals between Niger and France but more than a thousand French troops remain stationed at a military base in the country as France refuses to acknowledge the coup leader’s authority.
The Niger military junta has also said it has withdrawn the diplomatic immunity of the French Ambassador, Sylvain Itte, and ordered the police to expel him from its shores. However, the French military spokesman, Colonel Pierre Gaudilliere, on Thursday, warned that French military forces would take measures to protect diplomatic and military premises in Niger. CONTINUE READING>>>>>