THE Sahela region at the heart of many geopolitical issues, is analyzed from a unique angle by Lluís Saillansformer French commando in an interview granted to the French site sudouest.fr. With his experience a Africa and the Middle EastSaillans, author of ” war chief“, offers an informed perspective on the challenges and dynamics of this strategic area.
Decline of French influence
The situation in the Sahel is characterized by a decline in French influence, as a result of recent political changes evila Burkina Faso and the Niger. These events mark a turning point in French strategy, especially in the context of the G5 Sahel. However, Saillans does not see these changes as a definitive end to the French presence, but rather as a period of transition.
Examining French interventions in the Sahel, Saillans acknowledges successes and failures. According to him, these operations demonstrate that France was able to obtain concrete results thanks to targeted actions, despite perceptions of failure.
Failures, but a conviction
On the other hand, he recognizes that the intervention in Libya in 2011 is a “disaster», while Operation Serval in Mali in 2013 is considered relatively successful. He criticizes the lack of long-term vision in the planning of these interventions, highlighting the need for a clearer and more sustainable French strategy in the Sahel.
Regarding the future of the Sahel, Saillans is convinced that France will always play an important role in the region. He is skeptical about the ability of powers like China or Russia to effectively replace France in complex and expensive missions.
He anticipates that the French presence in the Sahel, although reduced, is not over and that countries in the region will once again call on France in the face of security challenges.. A position that can easily be described as condescending, as it seems certain that the affected countries will fail in the fight against armed groups.. We see that, although expelled from the region, the French soldiers and officers do not seem to have fully understood what they are accused of.
Apparently, the national armies have turned the page
And yet the armies of Mali and Burkina Faso, for example, appear to be taking a different direction. It seems that they do not want to express the desire to appeal to the France, preferring to strengthen their own military power. These nations are investing in the acquisition of military equipment, training and recruitment of soldiers, in a process of empowerment. This trend indicates an evolution of regional defense strategies, where dependence on French military aid is increasingly questioned.