Operation Barkhane News & Updates

Vergennes

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I wonder when will France start to use UCAVs to neutralize terrorists.

We already do. 40% of the strikes against terrorist groups in the Sahel are done by drones.
 

Ryder

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Some richest people and their agenda give charity for them. Wahabist, Salafist, Ikhwanul muslimin, Hizbut Tahrir and the likes movements is breeding ground for those cretins ideas to create their own Sharia country and implement their own idea.

Irony is jihadists actually make takfir on Hiz But Tahrir because Hiz but tahrir does not use violence to achieve their aims.

Thats why a lot of jihadists who supported and became members of hiz but tahrir left the group because it does not fight to impose sharia. Leaving many disalusioned with the group.

Not to say that Hiz but tahrir is inmocent in this regard they still believe in overthrowing governments with peaceful use of revolution except that it has former members that believe in the use of violence and terrorism.

Which has given its bad image that they still cant escape from.
 

Nilgiri

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According to information published on the Twitter account of the French Defense Staff on February 2, 2021, the French Navy has deployed during four months a Breguet Atlantic ATL2 long-range maritime patrol aircraft for Operation Barkhane, in the Sahelo-Saharan strip.

The ATL2 is a long range maritime patrol aircraft, dedicated primarily to the control of the air-sea environment through anti-submarine warfare and against surface ships, from the littoral zone to the open sea.

ATL2 crews successfully performed:
- Intelligence missions (more than 1,000 interception of electronic signals)
- Bombing missions against enemy targets

The Atlantic has been operated by a number of countries, commonly performing maritime roles such as reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare. This aircraft is also capable of carrying air-to-ground munitions to perform ground-attack missions; a small number of aircraft were also equipped to perform ELINT operations. An updated version, the Atlantique 2 (ATL2), was produced by Dassault Aviation for the French Navy in the 1980s. A further improved model, the Atlantique 3, was proposed during the 1990s but ultimately unbuilt. Other operators of the Atlantic have included the German Navy, the Italian Air Force, the Pakistanese Navy, and the Royal Netherlands Navy.

Operation Barkhane is an ongoing anti-insurgent operation started on August 1, 2014 which is led by the French military against Islamist groups in Africa's Sahel region. It consists of a roughly 5,000-strong French force, which is permanently headquartered in N’Djamena, the capital city of Chad. The operation is led in cooperation with five countries, all former French colonies, that span the Sahel: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. These countries are collectively referred to as the "G5 Sahel". The operation is named after a crescent-shaped dune in the Sahara desert.
 

Vergennes

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The Barkhane force with its African partners are maintaining the pressure on armed terrorist groups...

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Sahel countries negotiate with armed groups despite French opposition​

France has failed to defeat militants in the Sahel. Now, regional governments are turning to talks to resolve the conflict
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A soldier poses for a portrait during Operation Barkhane in Burkina Faso, on 13 November 2019 (Michele Cattani/AFP)
By
Mucahid Durmaz
Published date: 6 March 2021 10:34 UTC | Last update: 1 day 40 mins ago


On 16 February, during a two-day summit of leaders from west Africa in N'Djamena, Chad, French President Emmanuel Macron appeared via video link from inside the gilded Elysée palace to give France's view on the region's rampant insurgency.
After addressing heads of state from Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger and Mauritania, Macron, who recently increased the number of French troops in the Sahel to more than 5,000, told journalists the leaders had agreed that they could not negotiate with the commanders of two of the region's most notorious armed groups.
They "are enemies," he said, referring to Iyad Ag Ghali, the Tuareg leader of Ansar-ud Deen, and Amadou Koufa, the head of Katiba Macina, both Malians. "In no way whatsoever are they discussion partners."
He was reiterating a long-standing French position: "no negotiation with terrorists".
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Three days later, however, Moctar Ouane, Mali's interim prime minister, revealed that his government had created a body to lead talks with the militant groups, which have devastated areas in north and central Mali and elsewhere across the Sahel.
"More and more voices in Mali are calling for dialogue with our brothers who have joined radical groups," he said.

Spiralling violence​

Violence gripped Mali in 2012, when Tuareg rebels and loosely aligned militant groups advanced towards the capital, Bamako, after taking swaths of the country's northern deserts.
Tuaregs in Mali have led periodic rebellions against the state since soon after it gained independence in 1960. But this latest uprising spiralled, leading to a brutal series of conflicts that eventually engulfed much of the Sahel.
A peace deal signed in 2015 by Mali's government and the rebel groups raised hopes temporarily, but it was never implemented fully. The militants quickly regrouped and expanded.
In 2017, the threat worsened. Ghali, France's most-wanted target in the conflict, united several militant groups, including Katiba Macina and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), under the banner of the Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (GSIM).
GSIM has since overtaken its sworn enemy, the ISIS-affiliate group, to become the greatest threat in the Sahel and one of al-Qaeda's most active affiliates in the world.
The violence is worst in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, but threatens to spread into coastal countries such as Senegal, the Ivory Coast and Ghana.
Amid a breakdown of law and order and little-to-no state presence outside national capitals, more people are obtaining weapons and forming local armed groups.
Fighters from a local armed group, Gatia, and pro-government armed group gather outside their headquarters in the town of Menaka on 21 November 2020. (Souleymane Ag Anara/AFP)

Fighters from a pro-government armed group, Gatia, outside their headquarters in the town of Menaka on 21 November 2020 (Souleymane Ag Anara/AFP)
Militants have exploited age-old tensions among various ethnic communities and tapped into deep-seated local grievances. These, along with the desperate poverty, rapidly changing climate and political corruption, have proven a deadly mix.
Almost 7,000 people died due to the fighting last year, according to the Armed Conflict and Location Event Data Project, while the UN declared recently that more than two million people have now been forced to flee their homes because of the conflict, a number that has quadrupled since 2019.
More than 14 million people in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso are now in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

A way out of the 'forever war'?​

French forces have been fighting in the Sahel - alongside UN, US and European partners - for the past eight years. France launched Operation Serval in early 2013, following a UN Security Council Resolution and a request for military assistance from Mali. This was replaced by Operation Barkhane in 2014, an ongoing operation involving more than 5,000 personnel.
A year ago, continuing his focus on military solutions, Macron sent an additional 600 or so troops to the region and vowed to step up interventions in the "tri-borders" area linking Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger.
Despite some successes, however, including the killing of al-Qaeda chief AbdelMalek Droukdel and Ghali's right-hand man, Bah Ag Moussa, the violence is as bad as ever.
Macron speaks to French soldiers from Operation Barkhane on December 22 2017 during a visit to the French air force base in Niamey, Niger. (Ludovic Marin/AFP)

Macron speaks to French troops at an air force base in Niamey, Niger, on 22 December 2017 (Ludovic Marin/AFP)
In his recent meeting with Sahel leaders, Macron said there would be no "immediate" drawdown of French troops, but made it clear that he wants a far smaller presence over time, with local forces taking more responsibility. Having spent billions of dollars and losing 55 soldiers to a conflict supposed to last "a matter of weeks," France is looking for a way out of its "forever war".

French opposition grows​

Many in the Sahel, even the secular elites whom France relied upon for decades, are now sceptical of French military motives. Opposition to the former coloniser's presence has been growing. Back home, a poll published last month found for the first time that a slim majority of French people viewed the military intervention in the Sahel unfavourably.
But a wholesale withdrawal could spell danger closer to home for France, a country traumatised by a string of violent attacks in recent years. Bernard Emié, director of the French foreign intelligence service, said in February that militants in Mali were weighing up attacks in Europe.
With his government's tone towards French Muslims increasingly hostile since last year's terror attacks, Macron may struggle to convince the French public of the need for closed-door negotiations with the militants.
In Mali, however, politicians, religious leaders and civil society groups have increasingly been calling for such talks, which they see as a political solution that would go hand-in-hand with French-led military operations.
A French soldier of the operation Barkhane in a tiger helicopter during a tactical flight on 12 March 2016 in Mali. (Pascal Guyot/AFP)

A French soldier in a Tiger helicopter during a tactical flight in Mali, 12 March 2016 (Pascal Guyot/AFP)
Demands to negotiate with the militants are not a new development. In 2017, participants at Mali's Conference of National Understanding, a summit of representatives from government, armed groups and the opposition, said that authorities should engage with Ghali and Koufa.
In 2019, at talks called the National Inclusive Dialogue, which brought together some major domestic figures, including then-president Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, the proposal was tabled again. Keïta publicly acknowledged for the first time last year that the government had made direct contact with Ghali and Koufa.
Keïta was ousted in August, but national talks in the aftermath of the coup again endorsed the idea of negotiating with the violent groups on both national and local levels.
For Boubacar Sangare, an independent researcher based in Mali's capital, Bamako, not all people who join militant groups are religious fanatics. Facing recurrent violence without state protection, some do it to protect their families and communities.
Leaders and foot soldiers have different motivations, Sangare told Middle East Eye, so the talks "must include the rank and file of the groups, to negotiate a new social contract... the state must first be accepted by the communities".
Echoing the position taken by authorities in Mali, Burkina Faso said for the first time in February that it too was open to the idea of negotiating with militants.
"If we want to end the security crisis, we will need to find paths and ways to talk with those responsible for terrorist attacks so that we are in peace," Prime Minister Christophe Dabire told parliament.
"The government understood that there were various dynamics [including lack of infrastructure and state presence] that exacerbated the violence, and they could be resolved through negotiation," Mahamoudou Savadogo, a researcher of Sahel violent extremism based in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso's capital, told MEE.
Recent talks between local leaders in Djibo, a city in northern Burkina Faso controlled for months by al-Qaeda-linked militants, succeeded in reducing violence in the area, said Savadogo. "It allowed locals to return to their houses; even some schools opened."
Alex Thurston, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Cincinnati, believes that even a minimum of dialogue is worth exploring. "It could produce a short-term ceasefire that might lead to long-term political settlement," he told MEE.
For Sangare, "there is a difference between defeating terrorist groups and bringing peace".



 

Vergennes

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A VAB of the French Barkhane force was hit by an IED near Gossi. No injuries or death,thankfully.

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Agha Sher

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The lying french are claiming to have killed 100 fighters here and 100 there. Yet in reality they just kill some civilians and call it a day. They have not progress an inch in their fight against the armed groups. france should leave sahel once and for all.
 

Vergennes

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The lying french are claiming to have killed 100 fighters here and 100 there. Yet in reality they just kill some civilians and call it a day. They have not progress an inch in their fight against the armed groups. france should leave sahel once and for all.

Every strike is ordered after robust intelligence,identification and confirmation of the targets.

The UN report is mostly based on local testimonies which were never transcribed and whose author's identity is never specified just like the conditions in which the testimonies were collected.

It is therefore impossible to distinguish credible sources from false testimonies of possible terrorist sympathizers or of individuals under the influence or threat of jihadist groups.

BTW,the first contradictory testimonies collected on the strike show how the reliability of an individual testimony is relative. Some witnesses claimed the attack was carried by an helicopter while neither Malian or French forces engaged helicopters in this zone that day,while others evoked a plane flying at low altitude when the Mirage 2000 carrying out the strike were in high altitude. Some claimed children were killed in the strikes when no children were confirmed by the said UN report to have been killed.

The report assumes that anonymous testimonies, given by individuals whose interests or allegiances are unknown, present a credibility.

Few days ago many claimed civilians were killed by French forces while showing photos and videos of a boko haram massacre in Nigeria.....

Just like any campaign there's a disinformation war going on by those whose interests are contradictory to those of the French army....
 

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France hands military base to Malian army amid drawdown​

BY ANADOLU AGENCY​

DOUALA, CAMEROON NOV 17, 2021 - 8:51 AM GMT+3

French Rafale fighter jets taxi on the runway, before their deployment in Mali, after landing in Ndjamena, Chad, Jan. 13, 2013.  (French Military Communications Audiovisual office via Reuters)
French Rafale fighter jets taxi on the runway, before their deployment in Mali, after landing in Ndjamena, Chad, Jan. 13, 2013. (French Military Communications Audiovisual office via Reuters)




CENTRAL-AFRICAN-REPUBLIC
France has transferred control of a military base in northeastern Mali to the Malian army as part of a move to reorganize French forces deployed in the Sahel region under Operation Barkhane.

In a statement Tuesday, the French military chief of staff said the Barkhane counterterrorism force has handed over the base in Tessalit after adaptation sessions.

"After that of Kidal, the hold occupied by the Barkhane force in Tessalit was transferred on Nov. 13 to the Malian Armed Forces (FAMa). The last French soldiers left the site on Nov. 15," it said.

It said that the transfer was "gradual, controlled and closely coordinated with FAMa and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), whose contingent of several hundred soldiers is permanently deployed in Tessalit."

The handover of the base to Malian soldiers, according to the French authority, "is part of the combat partnership between the French and Malian forces." It said that "training sessions" were conducted in this context with Malian soldiers "over several weeks.”

The objective between the two forces was to "share their know-how and prepare for the full assumption of the hold by a reinforced FAMa company," it added.

It also cited the implementation of various reassurance procedures that completed "this stage of adaptation,” adding it has not encountered any particular difficulties and it has been "conducted in very good conditions of dialogue.”

On June 10, 2021, French President Emmanuel Macron announced the end of Operation Barkhane, which had been carried out in Mali for more than eight years as part of the fight against terrorism.

At the same time, Macron announced a "profound transformation" of the French military presence in the Sahel through, among other things, the closure of French army bases and by relying on the Takuba task force, an "international alliance associating the states of the region.”

 

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