French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe is set to deliver an African policy speech today in the former French colony of Burkina Faso. The speech comes ahead of French President Emmanuel Macron’s latest West African trip, scheduled to begin tomorrow in the country.
Since Macron’s government’s assumption of power in May of 2017, French African policy has focused on mitigating security concerns amidst budgetary difficulties. Macron’s diplomatic-economic worldview encourages a reduction of France’s military presence in Africa and advocates for continued counter-terrorism and counter-trafficking efforts. The policy furthermore calls for medium-term and long-term defence and security cooperation programs and continued engagement with regional allies.
Considering the worsening security situation in areas like the former French colony of Mali, questions are raised regarding the viability of military disengagement. A successful raid just last month led by French special forces in northern Mali illustrates the extent the French find themselves militarily committed to fighting Islamic extremism on the continent.
Expect Philippe’s speech to both advocate for the current Macron-Philippe Africa policy and signal for a revaluation of the necessity of military engagement.
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Nick is the Director of the Daily Brief and a contributing Senior Analyst to it. An attorney, his areas of expertise include international law, international and domestic criminal law, security affairs in Europe and the Middle East, and human rights.