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July 14, 2021

West Africa
French President Macron Expands on Sahel Drawdown Plan

French President Emmanuel Macron announced yesterday that Operation Barkhane, the French counterterrorism force fighting jihadis in the Sahel, will end in the first quarter of 2022. This follows a recent announcement that the French president plans to cut in half the French presence in the Sahel and reorganize what will remain as specialized regional forces, while also contributing to Task Force Takuba, the recently established EU force with a remit similar to that of Barkhane.

French President Emmanuel Macron and Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum sit at a table with their countries' flags behind them, along with an EU flag. Other leaders of G5 Sahel countries are seen on a screen in the background.

May 11, 2021

Mali
French Journalist Kidnapped in the Sahel

In April, Olivier Dubois, an experienced French journalist, was kidnapped in Gao, a Malian city on the Niger River. Though his disappearance was soon known by the Malian and French authorities, and by the non-governmental organization Reporters Without Borders, nobody went public with the crime, ostensibly to facilitate the victim's quick release.

A man watches a video on a tablet showing a French journalist in captivity making a plea for his release.

January 28, 2021

France
Macron Signals Upcoming Reduction of French Military Presence in the Sahel

On January 19, French President Emmanuel Macron said that recent successes against jihadis and the pledge of additional EU troops makes it possible to "adjust" its military operations in the western Sahel.

French President Emmanuel Macron and interim Malian President Bah Ndaw are seen outside the Elysee Palace in Paris, both wearing suits and masks. On either side are palace guards, both wearing masks. The guard on the right side of the picture has his hand at salute.

June 9, 2020

Mali
French-Led Decapitation Strike on AQIM in Mali

On June 5, France announced that its forces killed Abdelmalek Droukdel and many in his inner circle. Droukdel was the "emir" or leader of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). The attack took place…

Dust is whooshed into the air as a military helicopter prepares to land. A soldier in desert camouflage kneels on one knee as he signals the helicopter. The sky, obstructed by the dust, is otherwise a dull, clear blue.

May 15, 2019

Burkina Faso
French Forces Free Hostages in Burkina Faso With U.S. Help

President Emmanuel Macron of France announced on May 10 that French military forces rescued four hostages in Burkina Faso held by Islamist militants. Two were French, one was American, and one was South Korean. No authorities have released freed hostage names, citing privacy considerations. However, the operation cost the lives of two French soldiers, the names of whom have been made public.

France-Macron-Military-Burkina-Faso-Hostage

February 26, 2018

France
Three Takeaways from the French Cyber Defense Review

The French government released a strategic review of its cyberdefense posture. Here are three takeaways from the near 200-page document. 

Mounir Mahjoubi

July 26, 2014

Human Rights
The End of French Jewry?

Here’s the situation in Paris: Violent anti-Jewish riots in Paris on Sunday [July 20], sparked by Israel’s ongoing operation in Gaza to halt rocket attacks from the coastal enclave, left Jews in the…

May 7, 2017

France
French Elections and the Remaining Populist Challenge

Emmanuel Macron received a strong endorsement from French voters in yesterday’s second round election, winning around 66 percent of the vote.  While abstentions were up from the last election (an est…

May 8, 2017

France
What Emmanuel Macron's Victory Means for French and U.S. Tech

Emmanuel Macron won the French presidency--the youngest man ever to accede to the Élysée palace. But what does it mean for French and U.S. tech?

Supporters of Emmanuel Macron celebrate near the Louvre museum.

April 30, 2014

Europe and Eurasia
French Banks Play Russian Roulette

In the fourth quarter of last year, with tensions rising between Russia and the West over Ukraine, U.S., German, UK, and Swedish banks aggressively dialed down their credit exposures in Russia.  B…

French Banks Play Russian Roulette