There is no real end to colonialism as long as there is one French soldier in Africa.
The mission in Sahel has officially concluded, but 3,000 troops remain in the region
France’s troubled nine-year counterterrorism Operation Barkhane in Northern Africa is officially over, President Emmanuel Macron announced on Wednesday.
“Our military support for African countries will continue, but according to new principles that we have defined with them,” the French leader explained.
The decision was the “consequence of what we have experienced” in recent months, Macron said, addressing top generals and diplomats aboard a French helicopter carrier.
While Macron’s announcement implied a reconsideration of France’s role in Africa, it does not change the facts on the ground. Some 3,000 French troops remain deployed in Niger, Chad, and Burkina Faso, tasked with fighting terrorist groups including al-Qaeda, the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), and others.