​France expands military influence in Sahel region

2020-01-14 17:26:43

Macron has decided to supplement French forces in the Sahel to strengthen its instance in the tensions made by insurgency in the region.

He met Monday with leaders from five African countries in the southern French town that was home to seven of the 13 French soldiers who died in a helicopter collision in northern Mali last November.

The talks included Roch Marc Christian Kaboré (Burkina Faso), Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta (Mali), Mohamed Ould el-Ghazouani (Mauritania), Mahamadou Issoufou (Niger) et Idriss Déby (Chad), as well as UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

The leaders called on the United States to maintain "crucial support", according to the statement issued after the meeting concluded.

After initially being postponed, the meeting took place in the garrison town of Pau at the foot of the Pyrenees in southwestern France.

The choice was not insignificant since this city was home to seven of the thirteen French troops who died in a helicopter collision while fighting locals in northern Mali last November.

An inside source said that the accident had strengthened France's pretext to strengthen its military intervention in the Sahel.

More than forty French soldiers have been killed since 2013 when France first engaged troops in Mali through its Serval operation against locals in the north.