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TOPIC: sahel


France Leaves Niger: Exposing The Empty Shell Of Post-Colonialism

Emmanuel Macron announced on Sunday evening the recall of the French ambassador to Niger, and the departure of the 1,500 French soldiers stationed there: the end of a dangerous impasse. France is being forced to wholly review its African policy.


PARISFrance will leave Niger, French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Sunday evening on French television.

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Why Ukraine Is Turning To France For Help In Africa — And How That Could Backfire

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba is in Paris seeking help to convince Africa to abandon its wait-and-see attitude, which benefits Russia. It's an extraordinary illustration of how Africa is singularly focused on emancipating itself from its former colonizers.


PARIS — The African continent and its 54 states lie at the heart of the world's current restructuring. Courted for its raw materials, Africa has become one of the main arenas for global power struggles — with votes at the UN scrutinized for what they may say about different countries' alignments.

France has been shaken in its former colonial stomping grounds in French-speaking Africa, with French President Emmanuel Macron speaking firmly Monday in response to the crisis that erupted with the military coup in Niger. But this is just one example of the great geopolitical chess match being played out in Africa.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba is in Paris on Tuesday, as guest of honor at the annual French Ambassadors' Conference. He will be attending an unprecedented meeting with all the French ambassadors to Africa. The aim: to help Ukraine develop its message towards Africa, to convince it to abandon its wait-and-see attitude, which benefits Russia.

It's an extraordinary move, which illustrates the difficulty of dealing with an Africa that wants to emancipate itself from the tutelage of its former colonizers, at the risk of sacrificing state sovereignty in the process.

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Ukraine War And BRICS Ambitions? Why The Superpowers Still Hold The Cards

The war in Ukraine has become globalized, with its effects being felt from Africa to China. The only hope of de-escalation is in a potential diplomatic summit between the U.S. and China this autumn.


PARIS — Beware of optical illusions. The fact that the war in Ukraine has become globalized doesn't mean it's a world war. Nonetheless, its impact is being felt everywhere, and political decisions regarding the unfolding conflict in Ukraine, fueled by doubts and ideological divisions, cannot be reserved to the European theater alone.

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Take the BRICS Summit (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) in Johannesburg this week: It may give the impression that a coherent anti-Western bloc is emerging. The reality is more complex, and while the participants all benefit from this political display, their differences are immense. Yet, we must not overlook the political message being sent out by this emerging "club" of nations.

When it comes to the Sahel region of north-central Africa, for example, we risk falling into the same distorted reflection of reality. After the putsch in Niger, it would be a mistake to see these repeated coups d'état as just one facet of the new global Cold War. The presence of the Wagner group and the specter of Russia are an opportunistic result of instability rather than its cause: the political crisis is first and foremost an African one.

Confusing cause and consequence can lead to over-reactions, of which history is full of examples. Still, the African continent is being dragged unwillingly into the shockwave of the invasion of Ukraine.

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The Tug-Of-War Between Niger's New Junta And The World Has Begun

Just days after the military seized power in Niger last week, the new junta has already been the target of sanctions by Brussels and Washington. What that means for the 1,000 U.S. soldiers stationed in Niger, among other things, remains unclear.


PARIS — The tug-of-war is on between Niger's new junta and their neighbors, as well as the Western allies of one of Africa's poorest countries.

After the military announced on July 26 that it had overthrown and detained President Mohamed Bazoum, the 15 member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECWAS) held a special summit in Abuja on Sunday.

On July 30, they ordered an economic blockade of Niger, decided on the "immediate" suspension of "all commercial and financial transactions" with the country, and set a one-week ultimatum for the junta to restore constitutional order. They said they could not rule out "recourse of force", a rare statement from the ECWAS which s hows the seriousness with which this coup d'état is being taken, which now poses a risk of spiraling out of control in the region.

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Hannah Steinkopf-Frank

France Kills Top ISIS Leader In Sahel: Africa Is Not Afghanistan

The French military announces the killing of Adnan Abou Walid al-Sahrawi the head of the jihadist group Islamic State in the Great Sahara (ISIS-GS). In its long involvement in the northwest African region of the Sahel, France.


The hastened withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Afghanistan has effectively handed the country back to the Islamic regime of the Taliban. But elsewhere, the West's two-decades war on Islamic terrorism carries on.

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In The News
Hannah Steinkopf-Frank, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Bertrand Hauger

Worldcrunch Today: Checking China, Blow To ISIS In Africa, Prison Romance Ban

👋 ¡Buenos días!*

Welcome to Thursday, where the U.S., UK and Australia form a new pact to check China, a top ISIS leader in Africa is killed and a heroic Dutch goat doesn't chicken out. Meanwhile, French business daily Les Echos shows us how the future of NFTs is also in the (trading) cards.


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Elise Vincent and Morgane Le Cam

The Killing Of Chad's President Is A Blow In Battle Against Jihad

Paris has considered Chad's army to be the most solid, experienced and tenacious in the region. But the death of Idriss Déby could change the dynamics in the French-backed fight against jihadists in the Sahel region of Africa.

The strategists of Operation Barkhane could not have imagined worse news. The announcement Tuesday of Chadian President Idriss Déby's death as a result of his wounds "on the battlefield" has stunned the French military. This authoritarian leader, who has been in power for more than 30 years, had been their main ally in the fight against terrorism in the vast Sahel region of north-central Africa. And now, this key player in a protracted war that began in 2013 is gone.

Military cooperation between France and Chad dates back to 1986. And as soon as France launched the regional anti-jihadist Operation Barkhane in 2014, Chad hosted its main command post. Since then, it is from the capital of N'Djamena that most of the actions on the ground are centralized and coordinated — even though the French military has forward bases in Mali. N'Djamena is also one of the two air bases — along with Niamey, in Niger — from which Barkhane planes take off.

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Didier François

Inside France's Secret War Against Jihadists Of Mali

French commandos are practically invisible as they carry out high-tech operations across Mali to track down Salafist fighters and other terrorists.

BANDIAGARA — The Twin Otter plane flies full speed over the battlefield, though low enough to almost scrape the tops of acacia trees. At one point its wingtips seem dangerously close to smashing into the jagged cliffs. But there's a reason for these maneuvers: The pilot is trying to avoid being shot.

This is Dogon Country, in south-central Mali, but the pilot is French — a "flying ace" from the Poitou territory in northwest France. He's part of a transport squadron assigned to move people and supplies for special-ops commandos, wherever and whenever, and regardless of the conditions or weather. That means arriving on time — always — and landing just about anywhere, even if all there is for a landing strip is a bit of hardened ground.

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Rachid Raha

Mali's Forsaken Tuareg: The Toll Of French And Algerian Economic Interests


RABAT – A year ago, Tuareg rebels from the Azawad National Liberation Movement (MNLA) decided to launch an attack to take back the territory of Azawad in northern Mali that they claim as their native land.

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Charlotte Bozonnet

After Mali, Front Line In War With Islamist Militants Could Shift To Niger

NIAMEY – The small restaurant sits on the corner of two sandy streets in Niger’s capital city, Niamey. It is here, at Le Toulousain, that two Frenchmen were kidnapped by AQIM (Al Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb) on Jan. 7, 2011.

The two young hostages – an aid worker and his friend – were killed during a failed rescue attempt, and their captors fled across the Mali border. In September 2011, the kidnapping of seven employees from French nuclear energy firm Areva working at the Arlit uranium mine in northern Niger, dealt another blow to the country.

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New Turmoil In Mali As Prime Minister Is Arrested, Forced To Resign



BAMAKO - Mali"s Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra announced his resignation on Tuesday, hours after being arrested by soldiers while trying to leave for France, reports Reuters.

Diarra addressed the nation on national television saying: "Our country is living through a period of crisis. Men and women who are worried about the future of our nation are hoping for peace."

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Nearing An International Military Intervention In Northern Mali?

GULFNEWS.com (Dubai), EL WATAN (Algeria), FASO.net (Burkina Faso), BBC (UK), JEUNE AFRIQUE ( France)


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