“We will properly end Operation Barkhane in the first quarter of 2022, but we will continue our activities in the region because we are not withdrawing,” Macron said in his traditional speech to the soldiers before the July 14 National Day celebrations. used the phrase.
Arguing that the formation of a terror zone in the Sahel was prevented thanks to the soldiers serving in Barkhane, Macron also thanked Chief of Staff François Lecointre, who will leave his post at the end of July.
President Macron announced on June 10 that they would end Operation Barkhane, in which more than 5,000 French soldiers were deployed in the Sahel, as part of a profound transformation of his country’s military presence in the region.
Macron announced at a press conference after the online G5 Sahel summit on Friday, July 9, that they will begin to close French bases in Kidal, Tessalit and Timbuktu in northern Mali by the end of 2021.
Stating that they will continue to stay in the Sahel at the request of the countries of the region, Macron stated that they will continue to have 2,500 to 3 thousand soldiers in the Sahel in the long run.