Mali is on the program for the first week of President Emmanuel Macron. The successor of François Hollande will visit “Thursday or Friday” the French troops engaged in Mali, his entourage disclosed on Monday.
Sworn in on Sunday morning, Emmanuel Macron, who went up the Avenue des Champs-Élysées Sunday after the transfer of powers aboard a military vehicle, promised that his first trip would be reserved for French troops. He had gone to the military hospital Percy in Clamart (Haut-de-Seine) the same afternoon and had spoken to two wounded soldiers in Mali.
4,000 French soldiers mobilized
Launched in 2014 to take over Operation Serval, the Barkhane force mobilizes 4,000 French soldiers in five countries in the Sahel (Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mauritania). Its mission is “to support the armed forces of the partner countries” in their struggle against jihadist groups and to “promote African ownership of crisis management”, the statement said.
The jihadists were largely driven out of northern Mali by the French intervention Serval in 2013. But entire areas of the country still escape the control of Malian, French and UN forces, regularly targeted by attacks despite the signing In May – June 2015 of a peace agreement, supposed to isolate the jihadists definitively. 17 French soldiers have died since the start of Operation Serval in January 2013.
Source: Jeune Afrique.