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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.

July 8, 2021

News Release
Kenneth I. Juster Joins CFR as Distinguished Fellow

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) welcomes Kenneth I. Juster to its David Rockefeller Studies Program as a distinguished fellow. At CFR, Juster’s work will focus on international economics and I…

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.

September 17, 2021

Haiti
Haiti’s Troubled Path to Development

Hobbled by foreign interventions, political instability, and natural disasters, the former French colony has long suffered from underdevelopment.

Two men overlook Port-au-Prince in the wake of the 7.0-magnitude earthquake of 2010.

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.

October 26, 2021

Lebanon
What Is Hezbollah?

Military experience gained from fighting in Syria’s civil war and decades of clashes with Israel have made the Iran-backed group stronger than ever, but the biggest threat it faces may be upheaval in…

A crowd of Hezbollah supporters surrounds a giant model of a fist holding a gun.

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

June 17, 2019

Intelligence
Kenneth A. Moskow Memorial Lecture on Homeland Security and Counterterrorism

Senator Warner discusses China’s strategy to control technologies of the future, including 5G and artificial intelligence, and what steps the United States can take to protect its own technological a…

Play Warner

October 18, 2021

Cameroon
Cameroon Presidential Succession Looms Large in Solving Country's Political Crises

In Cameroon, an incident last week in which a gendarme shot and killed a young child in Buea—a regional capital that has been the site of clashes between anglophone separatists and federal government forces—is the most recent outrage to make international headlines. Yet every day, the country’s civil conflict inflicts a brutal toll on the population, with surprisingly little outside attention. For five years, a deepening crisis has pit anglophone separatists against federal authorities, leading to thousands of lives lost and hundreds of thousands of civilians displaced—disrupting the education of hundreds of thousands of children in the process.

Soldiers brandishing rifles sit in the back of a camouflaged pickup truck. An election advertisement board of Cameroon President Paul Biya is seen behind them alongside another billboard with an advertisement.