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France’s Counterterrorism Efforts in West Africa and the Sahel

January 15, 2020

Episode Notes:

On Jan. 13, the heads of state from Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger — the G5 Sahel countries — met with French President Emmanuel Macron in Pau, France to discuss the deteriorating security situation in West Africa and the Sahel. The region has experienced unprecedented levels of terrorist violence. In Burkina Faso and Niger, over 4,000 people were killed in attacks in 2019. France is a key player in the region, with thousands of troops deployed in a counterterrorism mission. Its efforts have been costly. In November, 13 French soldiers were killed in a helicopter crash in Mali.

To help us make sense of the latest development, we spoke with Michael Shurkin. Michael is senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation, and an expert on French defense policy and West Africa. He has participated in an exchange program with the French Army.

Follow Michael on Twitter: @MichaelShurkin


[ 01:10 ] Why did G5 Sahel meet with France a few days ago, and what was the result of the meeting?

[ 07:27 ] How does France view the US role in the region? Does it want Washington to do more, less, or the same?

[ 09:32 ] Why should Americans care about the CT fight in Africa?

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