Inside Story

What comes next after France ends Sahel military mission?

President Emmanuel Macron announces end to Operation Barkhane after nine years of mixed results.

France is officially ending its largest overseas military mission.

Operation Barkhane was launched in 2014 in the Sahel region in Africa.

Its aim was to maintain security and combat armed groups linked to ISIL (ISIS) and al-Qaeda.

At its height, 5,500 French soldiers operated alongside local armies in Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad.

But the mission was criticised for failing to produce results and became unpopular.

France’s President Emmanuel Macron announced the end of the operation while launching a national strategic review of the military’s aims for the next decade.

So what options are left for the Sahel?

Presenter: Nastasya Tay


Jean-Hervé Jezequel – Project director for the Sahel, Crisis Group

Niagalé Bagayoko – Chair of the African Security Sector Network (ASSN)

Chukwuemeka Eze – Executive director, West Africa Network for Peacebuilding