Keyword: opération Barkhane
France's continued propping up of Chadian President Idriss Déby, a repressive autocrat, in whose country French troops are based for their counter-jihadist mission in the Sahel, appears to some like a return to the didgy old practices of the Françafrique system, opines The Economist.
The first round of presidential elections was held last Sunday in Mali, the former French colony in West Africa which has become a key centre of the battle, led by France, against jihadist groups operating in the Sahel. Outgoing president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, 73, hoping for re-election, is roundly attacked by his rivals for having failed to bring security to the country, despite France’s military intervention against jihadists in 2013 and the continued presence of thousands of UN peacekeepers. In this analysis of the enduring instability in Mali, Rémi Carayol details how it was fuelled by the toppling of the Gaddafi regime in Libya.
The two soldiers, taking part in France's Operation Barkhane in the West African country where it has deployed about 4,000 troops to contain jihadist groups operating in the region, died after their armoured vehicle ran over an explosive device near the town of Gao.
A French armly spokesman announced Thursday that a ground and air strike earlier in the week against an al-Qaeda-linked 'armed terrorist group' in northern Mali left 15 jihadists dead, while no French casualties were reported.
The Antonov turboprop, chartered by the French army as part of its anti-jihadist Opération Barkhane in north-west Africa and carrying ten people, broke up after crashing into the sea near Abidjan airport, leaving four Moldovan nationals dead and injuring six other people, four of them French.