The African continent, particularly its western nations, is one of the few regions in the world where the role of European actors is more tangible than its domestic political forces.
France is a country that retains special privileges in West Africa among other Western nations with extensive involvement in the region.
Given its long and dark history of colonialism, France’s most significant objective in Western Africa is to become the only actor with paramount hegemonic influence. Western Africa has long been a victim of colonialism, and today it has become the arena of French neocolonialist ambitions.According to the reports, about 4,500 French soldiers are deployed in West Africa as part of “Operation Barkhane”.
The French military has been active in the Sahel—one of the world’s most neglected and conflict-ridden regions—for many years, claiming to combat terrorism and ensure security.
Despite persistent disinformation from the Élysée, which claims that French military intervention has quelled the insurgency, terrorist groups are more active than ever in Africa’s western coastline states, murdering and injuring hundreds of civilians.
However, the deteriorating crisis reached a climax, prompting Mali’s officials to accuse the French military of collaborating with separatist and terrorist militias.
In this regard, Mali’s ruling junta that appointed Choguel Kokalla Maïga, a former opposition leader, as prime minister of the transitional government, recently stated: “Evidence indicates that the French troops who came to our nation have trained the terrorist groups, allowing the insurgents to seize control of two-thirds of the country.”
At last, Paris was compelled to completely withdraw its forces from Mali in response to rising pressure from Mali’s officials. The evacuation of the last French soldier from Mali marked the end of a decade of humanitarian calamity in this impoverished African nation. The current degree of popular antagonism against France is so extreme that the new Mali administration has banned the French ambassador from returning to his post.
Nevertheless, the French government has said that it would deploy soldiers to other Sahel nations, demonstrating that Paris would not desist from its neocolonialism in Africa.