2021, the year of France’s withdrawal from the Sahel? – Ep. / 100

    2021, the year of France’s withdrawal from the Sahel? – Ep. / 100

    Part one – return from Afghanistan

    As Taliban attacks on Afghan government forces are almost daily in Kabul and the rest of the country, and deadly attacks against civilians, schools, universities and maternity hospitals, a new round of negotiations will begin. open in Doha on January 5.

    Last February, the United States and the Taliban agreed to an agreement: the withdrawal of American troops, on condition that the Islamist movement opens negotiations with the Afghan government. The first cycle opened in September, but was not successful. Can we expect something today from this new negotiating session?

    With Margaux Benn, independent journalist, who works in particular with Arte, Le Figaro, or France 2.

    Margaux Benn recently produced:

    A report on Afghan students under daily fear of Taliban attacks (ARTE, 19/12/2020) – https://www.arte.tv/fr/videos/101508-000-A/etudier-a-kaboul-dans -the-fear-of-the-taliban /

    A report in the Kapisa region. Six years after the departure of the French troops, what memory have they left with the Afghan forces and the population in this region? (France 24, 4/12/2020) – https://www.france24.com/fr/émissions/billet-retour/20201204-afghanistan-la-kapisa-six-ans- après-le-départ-des-troupes -french? ref = tw

    “Kabul, April 5, 2020: fresco depicting a handshake between Zalmay Khalilzad, American representative for the negotiations of agreements with the Taliban, and Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar” (via France 24) •

    Credits: Representative of Kohsar


    Second part – round table on international news

    2021, the year of France’s withdrawal from the Sahel?

    Prime Minister Jean Castex spent New Year’s Eve 2021 with soldiers from the Barkhane force in Chad, after meeting with President Idriss Déby. Long planned, this trip was tinged with particular gravity after the death of three French soldiers in Mali on Monday, December 28.

    More than ever, the question of the future of the French presence in the Sahel arises. As the first anniversary of the Pau summit approaches – bringing France together with its G5 Sahel partners – Paris suggests that its commitment in the region could change shape. In an interview given to Jeune Afrique at the end of November, Emmanuel Macron spoke of his desire to “refocus” Barkhane on “the EIGS and strictly terrorist groups” and “to accelerate the rise of the G5 Sahel”.

    Should these be the first signs of disengagement? In the short term, what can we learn from Prime Minister Jean Castex’s trip to Chad? How has the security situation evolved in the Sahel in recent months? Are the national armies prepared to take over in the event of France’s gradual withdrawal? How do the populations of the region position themselves on this issue?

    A discussion with Niagalé Bagayoko, political scientist, president of the African Security Sector Network, and Bakary Sambe, director of the Timbuktu Institute-#African Center for Peace Studies, Dakar.

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