France to pull troops out of Mali: Sahel region, Libya, Niger, and Nigeria
Kanako Mita, Noriko Watanabe, and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The situation in Mali concerning internal politics and the threat of various Islamist forces remains a bane to the people of this nation. France initially sent forces to Mali in 2013 to help the beleaguered government that feared the fall of the capital. However, recent political events in Mali and tensions with France have emerged. Therefore, these tensions between Mali and France led to President Macron declaring the pull out of the armed forces of France – along with allies – from Mali.
The Sahel region is blighted by Sunni Islamist terrorist groups and insurgencies that fuse with these forces. Ethnic and religious divisions are extremely noticeable throughout the Sahel region. Hence, the government of France supports the Sahel concerning its colonial legacy – along with Chad that pulls its military weight.
Voice of America reports, “France and its allies Thursday announced a coordinated military withdrawal from Mali. France sent troops to push occupying militants out of northern Mali in 2013 and has been fighting insurgents alongside Malian troops ever since. Analysts say the withdrawal could have serious implications for security in Mali and across the region.”
In recent times, coups and political differences have emerged in Burkina Faso, Chad, Guinea-Bissau, and Mali. Also, since the intervention of America under Barack Obama – along with allies including France and the United Kingdom – the nation of Libya remains fractured and a bane for central forces in the Sahel because of the terrorist linkages of this failed state. Therefore, despite the initial successes of France and allies against Islamist forces in the environs of the Sahel, various Islamist forces have regrouped and are threatening the integrity of several nations – including Burkina Faso, Libya (North Africa), and Mali.
The weakened nations of Libya (North Africa) and Nigeria (West Africa) are utilized by Sunni Islamist terrorist groups to spread regional mayhem – this concerns criminality, terrorist networks, weapons, ideology, and so forth. Nigeria, unlike Libya, is a central functioning state. However, Nigeria is blighted by corruption – along with an array of ethnic and religious problems – that it can’t contain. Therefore, endless massacres in northern Nigeria against Christians (ethnic Muslim Fulani massacre of Christians to Sunni Islamist massacres) continue year after year – while Islamists from this nation spread regional chaos to the Lake Chad region.
Mali is also blighted by debt. Thus this nation is defaulting because of sanctions put on this country. Therefore, sanctions by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Mali at a time of increasing poverty and uncertainty – seem ill-judged.
President Mohamed Bazoum of Niger – also fearful of Islamist forces in the Lake Chad region (Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria) to events in various parts of the Sahel – is stepping in to help France (and other allies) so that a vacuum doesn’t emerge. Even so, the regional and international fight against Islamist terrorist forces and insurgencies that fuse naturally will be hindered by the loss of working with Mali.
Bazoum said, “Our goal is for our border with Mali to be secure.”
Bazoum continued, “This area will be even more infested and the terrorist groups will strengthen. We know that they are destined to extend their influence.”
Reuters reports, “Niger has accepted that French and European special forces will be deployed into its territory from neighboring Mali, in order to secure the border area with the West African state…”
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