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France’s defence minister to hold high-level Burkina Faso talks on Sahel security


France’s defence minister to hold high-level Burkina Faso talks on Sahel security

burkina faso defence minister
Photo: Reuters/Benoit Tessier

French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly will meet Burkinabe President Roch Marc Christian Kabore in Ouagadougou today to discuss security cooperation and counter-terrorism efforts in the Sahel region in Africa.

France is engaged in the region’s security through Operation Barkhane, which aims to equip Sahel states with the capabilities to independently tackle security threats. Towards this, the Cross-Border Joint Force and the Sahel Alliance were launched on July 2 and July 13, 2017, respectively. Despite the active involvement of French forces in the region, an increase in arms trade through Libya is positively correlated with inter-communal tensions and violence.

The US and France have jointly provided strategic support to the region. However, the Trump administration has announced reducing US military presence by 25% in 2022; therefore, Burkinabe reliance on French support is likely to increase, especially for major capabilities such as airlift equipment.

France needs to proactively counter terrorism in the region, since its involvement in anti-terrorism operations in Mali and Chad and now Burkina Faso have left its domestic territory vulnerable. It is thus likely that France will increase the deployed troops and arms in the region, as well as increase donations to the Sahel Alliance.

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