Left Menu
Development News Edition

UPDATE 2-Macron conditions troop presence in Sahel on West African clarifications


UPDATE 2-Macron conditions troop presence in Sahel on West African clarifications
French President Emmanuel Macron (File photo) Image Credit: ANI

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, has the West's largest military presence waging counterinsurgency 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 militants linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State strengthening their foothold across the region, 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 4,500 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.

"I want them (leaders of Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad, and Mauritania) to clarify and formalize their demands regarding France and the international community: do they want our presence and do they need it? I want clear answers to these questions," he said at a news conference after a NATO summit in London. Thirteen French soldiers were killed in Mali last week taking France's death toll since intervening in Mali in 2013 to 38.

The soldiers died when their helicopters collided in the dark as they hunted militants. It was the biggest loss of French troops in a single day since an attack in Beirut 36 years ago when 58 soldiers died. "I can't have French troops on the ground in the Sahel when there is ambiguity (by authorities) towards anti-French movements and sometimes comments made by politicians and ministers," he said.

Whereas French troops were hailed as heroes in 2013 after preventing an Islamist militant push to the Malian capital Bamako, there have been growing protests demanding France leave or accusing it of being in the region for economic reasons. "Given what we have lived through, I believe they owe us clarity," Macron said. "France is not there contrary to what's heard sometimes for neo-colonialist, imperialist or economic reasons. We're there for our collective security and the region."

The most notable example of anti-French sentiment was last month when Salif Keita, a popular Malian musician, released a video on social media telling his President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to stop being subjected to the little kid Emmanuel Macron.

Macron said he had invited the five Sahel leaders to come to Pau in southwestern France, where a regiment of last week's fallen soldiers is based, on Dec. 16 to discuss the issue. "Their response is today a necessary condition for our troops to stay," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Download The Devdiscourse News App for Latest News.


TRENDING

OPINION/BLOG/INTERVIEW

SDG2030: Challenges of technological applications in advancing Global Goals

Application of contemporary and future information technologies may go milestones in advancing sustainable development goals SDGs provided the challenges are overcome and implementation is ensured....

Sustainable Fashion: UNDP wants you to wear properly to reduce Global Warming 

The experts have estimated that the amount of water used to prepare one pair of jeans and a T shirt is sufficient for a person to drink for 13 years....

World Economic Forum suggests 8 Education Models for Future Schools

In a report released on January 14, the World Economic Forum WEF has also picked two examples for each model from throughout the world. The WEF has emphasized that these schools systems would be crucial for Forth Industrial Revolution.&#160...

Bitterness before US-China Trade Deal on Wednesday

Both the superpowers are going to sign Phase 1 of the US-China Trade Deal on Wednesday. The stock markets are hovering on all time high but the questions are being raised on sustainability of the deal as spat continue between them on severa...

Videos

Latest News

GOC Telangana RK Singh meets Telangana Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar

Major General RK Singh, General Officer Commanding GOC, Telangana and Andhra Sub Area TASA on Friday met Telangana Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar at the secretariat here. Singh congratulated Kumar on his elevation as Chief Secretary of the st...

IOA seeks details from RFI over suspension of Dattu Bhokanal

The Indian Olympic Association IOA has asked the RFI to provide details with regard to the decision to suspend rower Dattu Bhokanal. IOA president Narinder Dhruv Batra in his letter to Rowing Federation of India RFI president Rajlaxmi Singh...

Malls, pubs to be open 24/7 in some Mumbai areas from Jan 26

Maharashtra Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray on Friday said shops, restaurants, malls, and pubs will remain open 24 hours on an experimental basis in a few areas of Mumbai from January 26The areas where these establishments will remain op...

Car-as-a-Marketplace: A Transaction Centre on Wheels

 In-car commerce, or the Car-as-a-Marketplace concept, promises to profoundly transform the universe of transactions through the enablement of in-car shopping and reservations while on the go.Are you curious about how the future of in-...

Give Feedback