To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

French drawdown would accelerate Sahel security trends

Friday, April 9, 2021


There were suggestions in February that France might reduce the size of its military commitment in the run-up to a Sahel summit in the Chadian capital N’Djamena. However, at the February 15-16 summit, Macron reaffirmed the French commitment to counterterrorism in the Sahel. The prospect of French forces leaving the region is shaping the calculations of Sahelian leaders, jihadists and other local actors.


  • French casualties or Sahelian political upheavals could prompt Macron to scale down Barkhane prior to elections in France.
  • French public ambivalence on Barkhane may give additional impetus to anti-France protests in the Sahel.
  • Heads of state in Burkina Faso and Niger are extremely unlikely to embrace anti-French or anti-Barkhane stances.
  • The JNIM group may benefit from Islamic State’s brutality by presenting itself as a more pragmatic actor amenable to agreement.

Related articles

Expert Briefings Powered by Oxford Analytica
Stay up to date
Sign up to the Expert Daily Briefings email alert and receive up-to-the-minute analysis of global events as they happen.
*If your university does not have access to Expert Briefings, visit our information page to find out more.