How France lost its way in Africa's wars


Reading articles is for subscribers only. Subscribe now.

It was supposed to be a matter of several weeks, or a few months at the most, the French presidency and defence ministry led us to believe. The duration is now to be counted in years. Nothing has gone as planned in the two ongoing French military interventions in Africa launched by President François Hollande – in Mali, which began in Januray 2013 and in the Central African Republic (CAR), which started in December 2013. Almost 4,000 military personnel are now engaged in the operations, with more reinforcements due to join a larger campaign across the whole of the Sahel region of North Africa.