Macron conditions troop presence in Sahel on West African clarifications
President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday demanded West African leaders dismiss growing anti-French sentiment across the region if they wanted France’s military to continue its operations against Islamist militants.
France, the former colonial power, is the only Western country with a significant military presence waging counter-insurgency operations in Mali and the wider Sahel, an arid region of west Africa just below the Sahara desert.
Rather than stabilizing, security has progressively worsened with Islamist militants strengthening their foothold across the region and making large swathes of territory ungovernable and stoking ethnic violence, especially in Mali and Burkina Faso.
The French government has faced criticism at home that its troops are bogged down, while critical voices in the region have increasingly scorned Paris for failing to restore stability and anti-French sentiment has grown.
4th Dec 2019