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Success fighting terrorism in Africa: France launched Operation Barkhane in Mali, Chad, Niger, Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast.

Africa Security News.- French Secretary of Defense Jean-Yves Le Drian with our GSS Country Director in France Mr. Alejandro Ronard Alem.

Africa Security News.- French Secretary of Defense Jean-Yves Le Drian with our Associate ESN Country Director in France Mr. Alejandro Ronard Alem.

by Alejandro Ronard Alem.- The French President Mr. Francois Hollande, has announced that the operation Serval has fulfilled its mission in Mali. President Hollande has also declared that the situation is very fragile  in Africa, specifically in the whole region of the Sahel, ranging from the Horn of Africa, particularly northern countries like Mali, Chad and Niger, also Guinea Bissau. The situation has resulted in a reorganization of the French military forces in these areas in order to combat the growing jihadist movement.

 

The first outcome of the reorganization of the French forces is the closing of the Operation Serval in Mali, opening the  way to another operation called “Barkhane”. The new operation will concentrate three thousand French soldiers in the region, with access to major land and air media materials. The main objective of “Barkhane” is to increase the counter-terrorist action in the region, now in  partnership with five countries of the Sahel-Saharan region (G5): Mauritania,Mali, Niger, Chad and Burkina Faso.

 

"Francafrique" and Operation Barkhane

“Francafrique” and Operation Barkhane

The aim of the French military presence in the vast region is to stop what his own Minister of Defense  Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian has been termed as “the highway of all traffic.”  The “highway or auto-route” includes southern Algeria and the northern regions of the G5, and it has created a place of passage and permanent reconstruction of extremist jihadist groups, with serious security and stability consequences in these countries.

 

While Paris announces the new ongoing operation called “Barkhane”,  other terrorist events has ocurred in the region of Al Moustarath (in Mali) where a suicide terrorist exploded  a car bomb, injuring six French soldiers and killing Nikolic Dejvid , a sub​​-officer belonging to the Foreign Legion. This attack was claimed by the Algerian terrorist Mokhtar Belmokthar,  leader of the jihadist group Al-Murabitoun and former chief d’Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). This jihadist movement (Al-Mourabitoune) was formed a year ago with the fusion of the group of Belmokhtar  and the MUJAO group, and the group is active in the region of Gao (Mali) .

The officer Dejvid Nikolic was 45 years old died in Gao, Mali.  He was a French national and was bornes in Serbia.        Nikolic  belonged to the 1st; Foreign Regiment based in Laudun-l’Ardoise (region du Gard) France.  Since the beginning of the Pperation Serval, Nikolic  is the 9th. french soldier killed.  Military sources say definitely Mokhtar Belmokhtar is circulating in southern Libya.

 

Algeria, which in its capital organized negotiations between different groups of Mali, in order to  achieve a political agreement that gives stability to this country, is one of the allies who France account for the success of its military strategy in the area.

 

Finally, the French Defense Minister Jean Ives Le Drian , after the signature of important agreements with the British Government -at the  Franborough Aeroshow-, returned to France and immediately met with President F. Hollande and Prime Minister Manuel Valls,  before leaving for Africa for the purpose of visiting Mali and also the G5 countries of the Sahel.

 

Last week the President of France conducted a three-day visit to the countries of the region in order to sign agreements on military cooperation, financial cooperation and instrumentalization of the Berkhane Operation in Ivory Coast, Niger and Chad.

 

The Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian made ​​his eighth trip to Mali after the start of the operation Serval in January 2013.

 

President Francois Hollande  came to this African region with the intention of creating strong military cooperation ties that strengthen national armies, create the minimum basic foundation of peace and stability in order to achieve economic development. France is now in  a higher stage of the policy relationship with Africa, based -according to the French President-  on coherence, effectiveness and transparency. In his last trip to Africa, President Hollande reaffirmed that France is commited and gives priority to the international solidarity and aid development to the countries of sub-Saharan Africa.

 

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Operation Barkhane.-  The new french force of 3000 soldiers will be permanent, with its military headquarters in Chad’s capital, N’Djamena.  It has been designed for the G5, the five countries that span the Sahel: Chad , Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, all former french colonies.  Barkhane will have one thousand French soldiers  in Mali (down from a peak of over 4,000 in 2013), focused on counter-terrorism operations in the north of the five countries plus the south of Argelie, where there has been a resurgence of extremist terrorist violence. Another 1,200 will be stationed in N´Djamena/Chad,  and 800 will be splited between a surveillance base in Niger, some special forces in Burkina Faso and a permanent base in Ivory Coast. The French will supply Operation Barkhane with 20 helicopters, six fighter planes , three drones, two hundred  armoured vehicles, ten transport aircraft.