Macron wants to « rethink all the systems » in Africa

French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Wednesday July 13 his desire to “rethink by autumn the whole [des dispositifs militaires de la France] on the African continent », while the Barkhane anti-jihadist force is completing its departure from Mali. saying they want « less posed and less exposed devices »the Head of State judged that it was a “strategic necessity”evoking in a speech to the Ministry of the Armed Forces his desire to « succeed in building a stronger intimacy with African armies over the long term, rebuilding a capacity to train, here and there ».

France, a former colonial power in part of the countries of the continent, maintains a strong military presence there. In addition to its commitment to the anti-jihadist fight in the Sahel, which is undergoing restructuring, it has elements deployed in Senegal, Gabon and Djibouti. Emmanuel Macron also mentioned the need for a “continuum between our diplomatic offer, our renewed actions for the African partnership, our development actions” in Africa. « It’s a profound paradigm shifthe hammered. We must continue our commitment against the terrorist threat everywhere, particularly in Africa. »

« Combat Partnership »

Yesterday a key partner of Bamako, France, a former colonial power, is now persona non grata and is preparing to leave Mali within a few weeks. The junta in power since 2020 has pushed out the French army and appealed to the Russians, via the sulphurous paramilitary company Wagner, even if Bamako denies it.

Once disengaged from Mali, France will have halved its presence in the Sahel by maintaining only around 2,500 soldiers in the region. But Paris has been saying for months that it is not giving up on the fight against terrorism and is talking with the countries of the Sahel and the Gulf of Guinea to prepare new forms of intervention.

In Niger, the French will maintain more than a thousand men and air capabilities to provide fire support and intelligence as part of a « combat partnership » with the Niger Armed Forces (FAN), deployed with 250 French soldiers near the border with Mali against jihadists linked to Al-Qaeda or the Islamic State group. Paris had also announced the 1er July, logically, the end of the Takuba task force in Mali, an aggregation of European special forces, collateral victim of tensions with the colonels in power in Bamako. The contours of European participation in the anti-jihadist fight in Africa remain to be defined.

New Military Programming Law 2024-2030

Emmanuel Macron also instructed the Ministry of the Armed Forces to draw up a new Military Programming Law (LPM) for the period 2024-2030 in order to adapt budgetary efforts to the new strategic context marked by the return of war to the gates of Europe. “As conflicts intensify, we must now reassess our ambitions”he said during the traditional reception given by the Minister of the Armed Forces on the eve of July 14.

“Our operational ambition for 2030 must be reviewed to better ensure our ability to face the prospect of the possible return of a high intensity confrontation”, he said. This work to develop a new LPM “should be completed by the end of this year” then “discussed with Parliament” beginning of 2023. Given the war in Ukraine but also inflation, Emmanuel Macron had promised a « revaluation » of the LPM 2019-2025 for « adjust the means to the threats ».


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