Army Minister Florence Parly arrived in the Sahel on Sunday to discuss French military reorganization in the region. Florence Parly first met with the Nigerian authorities and then went to Bamako in Mali, a very political visit.
The maneuver began a few days ago. The Barkhane force began its retreat bases in Kidal, Tessalit and Timbuktu. In a few months, the French unit will be tightened to 2,500 men, compared to more than 5,000 today.
The geographical dye may also undergo some changes. In Niger, near the Malian border, the planned French air base in Niamey should become more important. Six fighter jets and six Reaper drones are stationed there, but the grip can eventually accommodate combat capability that enables intervention throughout the region.
A reorganization that requires agreement from Niger, and that was the subject of Florence Parly’s visit this Sunday. The Minister of Defense then flew to Bamako. The Wagner Company was discussed. Two messages were hammered out: the presence of Russian mercenaries is a red line for Paris and if the junta ignores these warnings, it would have serious consequences.
This move too aims to explain Barkhane’s futureThere is no withdrawal, the French army is not disconnecting, but Takuba’s takeover must enable the French army to engage half as many men in the Sahelo-Saharan.