The EU and France in the Sahel

What does the end of Operation Barkhane in its current form mean for the Sahel?

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In June this year, French President Emmanuel Macron announced the end of Operation Barkhane – a military offensive launched in 2013 against Islamist militants in the Sahel. France has determined, he said, it could no longer maintain a “constant presence” in West Africa. In this week’s episode, host Mark Leonard discusses European interests in the region and what might change after France’s Africa policy shift, together with Emanuela Del Re, former Italian deputy foreign minister and the new EU special representative for the Sahel; Sylvie Kauffmann, editorial director, lead writer, and columnist for Le Monde; as well as ECFR’s Andrew Lebovich. What does the end of Operation Barkhane in its current form mean for the Sahel? What could further European and international engagement in the region look like?

This podcast was recorded on 7 July 2021.

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