opération Barkhane

France officially ends anti-jihadist Operation Barkhane in Africa

International — Link

In an official announcement, French president Emmanuel Macron said a new strategy would be worked out with African partners.

French soldier killed in mortar attack on military camp in Mali

International — Link

Brigadier Alexandre Martin, 24, was killed and nine other French soldiers were wounded following a mortar attack on Saturday against their military camp near the town of Gao, central Mali, believed to have been launched by al-Qaeda-linked Islamist insurgents.

France's silence over civilians killed by Malian soldiers in joint operations


A year ago the French military bombed a wedding ceremony at Bounty in Mali, killing 22 men, of whom 19 were civilians. This terrible blunder was widely covered by the media at the time. But abuses committed in the following weeks and in the same region by the Malian army passed unnoticed. As Rémi Carayol reports, it would have been hard for French troops, who were on the ground with their Malian colleagues as part of a wide-ranging counter-insurgency operation, not to have been aware of what was going on. Yet the French military have remained silent about the incidents.

Car bomb targets French forces in Mali

International — Link

The attack occurred in the Kaigourou neighbourhood of Gossi in central Mali injuring several soldiers operating under France's Operation Barkhane in the Sahel.

Three French soldiers killed in Mali

International — Link

Three French soldiers from the 1st Chasseur regiment were killed on Monday in Mali in the explosion of an improvised device beside their armoured vehicle, bringing the total number of dead among French military personnel since the beginning of anti-jihadist operations in Mali and the Sahel region of west Africa in 2013 to 47.

How French drone strikes in the Sahel risk losing 'hearts and minds'


Two French soldiers were killed this weekend in Mali when their vehicle was targeted by an improvised explosive device, in what was a grim reminder of the difficulties the French military face in their campaign to defeat jihadist groups in the Sahel region. To strengthen its operations, France has begun deploying, for the first time anywhere, armed drones. But, as Rémi Carayol reports, while these have apparently reduced the capacity of the jihadists to launch mass attacks, the drone strikes have also made civilians fearful for their own safety, with the potential effect of losing support for the military campaign.

Death of French soldier in Mali operations raises toll to 43

International — Link

French officials have announced that Foreign Legion member Kévin Clement, 21, was killed in a firefight combat against armed groups in Mali’s Menaka region, bringing the total of fatalities among French forces engaged against jihadist forces in the north-west African country since 2013 to 43.

Macron announces 33 jihadists killed in Mali by French army

International — Link

French President Emmanuel Macron, visiting Ivory Coast, said French troops killed 33 jihadists early Saturday in an operation in Mali's Mopti region, when one person was taken prisoner and two Malian gendarmes held hostage were freed.

Burkina Faso’s young Fula people caught between threat from jihadists and army

International — Report

In a country beset with spiralling jihadist violence, young people from Burkina Faso’s Fula community are the ideal recruits for armed groups keen to capitalise on the discontent stemming from extreme poverty and the frequent abuses committed by government troops in this part of Africa. And as François Hume and Olivia Macadré report, if they reject the jihadists’ call to arms, they are widely seen as guilty by association.

How France's narrow focus on a military solution in Mali has led to stalemate in region

International — Analysis

On Monday November 25th 13 members of the French military were killed when two helicopters crashed in Mali during France's ongoing military operations there. The grim news sparked debates back in France about the country's military involvement in the Sahel region of Africa. But as Mediapart's René Backmann writes, the legacy of France's colonial past and the remnants of its post-colonial approach to the continent known as 'Françafrique' suggest that President Emmanuel Macron's government will be unable to see that military combat against jihadism is not the only response that is needed to tackle the region's instability.

French PM urges support from allies on Sahel counter-insurgency

International — Link

During a visit on Sunday to the Mali HQ of French military operations against jihadist insurgents in the Sahel, French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe said 'durable stabilisation' in the region could not be assured without 'the backing of others'.

Chad's strongman leader is 'bulwark' for France against jihadists

France — Link

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. 

How the fall of Gaddafi destabilised Mali

International — Analysis

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.

Two French soldiers killed in Mali in bombing of their armoured vehicle

International — Link

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. 

French army says it killed 15 jihadists in Mali operation

International — Link

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.