France intends to change the model of its military presence in the Sahel region, marking the end of the currently ongoing anti-insurgent Operation Barkhane, French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Thursday.
“Following consultations with our partners, in particular the United States … European countries … we will begin a comprehensive transformation of our military presence in the Sahel,” Macron said at a press conference.
He noted that further details will be announced in the coming weeks. “This transformation will involve a change of the model. It will go through a change of the framework, that is, the end of Operation Barkhane,” the French President said, noting that the operation will be replaced by an international alliance, which will include regional partners.
The “time has come to initiate a profound transformation of our military presence in the Sahel,” insisted the French head of state.
The Sahel region is one of the African continent’s main hotspots due to the high levels of terrorist activity and illegal migration. In 2014, France launched its anti-terrorist operation to stabilize the situation in the region and help local authorities enforce security.