France’s operations and engagement ensured the survival of some African countries, the French president said on Wednesday.
“If we get an overview, France was right to enroll with the African countries to fight against terrorism,” Emmanuel Macron told the French weekly Le Point. “It is its (France’s) honor and responsibility.”
Macron also linked the French intervention in the area to some countries’ survival.
“If we were not engaged, via the operations Serval and Barkhane, there would be, undoubtedly, no more Mali, no more Burkina Faso, I am not even sure that there would still be Niger,” he said.
The president further said that those operations, conducted upon African states’ request, were a success.
“The French policy, that I convey since 2017, is to get out of the security mentality,” he said. “I believe in a partnership policy where France defends its interests, and supports Africa in its success. It is a real partnership, not a security condominium.”
France’s relations with Mali and Burkina Faso deteriorated after military administrations took power in those countries respectively in 2020 and 2022.
People in Mali and Burkina Faso, two former French colonies, protested against the French presence in their countries.
Situation in Niger
Emmanuel Macron reiterated his call to “reinstate the constitutional order” in Niger and to liberate President Mohamed Bazoum, ousted by the military administration on July 26.
“This is a coup against democracy in Niger, Nigerien people, and counterterrorism,” Macron said.
Niger was plunged into turmoil on July 26 when Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani, a former commander of the presidential guard, led a military intervention that ousted President Mohamed Bazoum.
France launched an operation to evacuate its citizens as well as other nationals from Niamey.
ECOWAS last week demanded that the military restore constitutional order in Niger “in order to concentrate on the security of the country, which has become increasingly fragile” since Bazoum was ousted.
On Tuesday, the African Union said it has suspended Niger from all its activities until the army cedes power.