“The announcement of the transformation of the operation [Barkhane] by the President of the Republic is a logical decision, a balanced decision which is quite simply the result of the various positive results that we have had on the ground for several months “, estimates Thursday, June 10 on franceinfo Jean-Michel Jacques, LREM deputy of Morbihan, vice-president of the commission of national defense and the armed forces. Emmanuel Macron announced a reduction in the French military presence in the Sahel, marked by the closure of bases and a re-articulation of the anti-jihadist struggle around an “international alliance” associating Europeans. “Our African partners have a major advance on the ground. This allows a disengagement of our forces.”
franceinfo: It is an admission of failure of Operation Barkhane. France had no choice?
Jean-Michel Jacques: Not at all, on the contrary. The announcement of the transformation of the operation by the President of the Republic is a logical decision, a balanced decision which is quite simply the result of the various positive results that we have had on the ground for several months. As we have already said, our African partners have a major step forward on the ground. They are more and more present in different places, which allows a disengagement of our forces which is necessary because we never had a vocation anyway, to remain eternally on the ground. it’s not just military action that counts. But there is also the security, political and development action of these countries. Hence the Sahel Alliance. And then, finally, this desire to rely on various pillars at the international level, with other forces. Not only with France.
For you, has France been able to carry out actions that have made it possible to move things forward in the Sahel?
France has been exemplary in its commitment. It made it possible to avoid the worst. It has enabled our African partners who, for several months now, to take ownership of the land. But as the situation remains complex and is not only military, besides that, we must, of course, continue to economically develop these different territories, but also that our partners also develop the political aspect and the aspect. safe.
“It’s not for France to wear everything forever.”Jean-Michel Jacques, LREM deputy of Morbihan
In the end, what is done is rather virtuous. We have an internationalization of the situation. We can also see it, through the commitment of our European partners to the Takouba force.
It is difficult to see, precisely, how this European force Takouba could succeed where Barkhane is stuck …
Barkhane didn’t get bogged down at all, I can’t let you say that. We have decades with jihadism. But everyone has said it is not new. But on the other hand, what is important is to be able to maintain this state of security so that development can take place as well as possible. Finally, there are international forces that are positioning themselves. And then there is above all, and this is the main thing, our African partners who are gaining strength and taking their fair share. And so, we are finally at a moment when it is time to change the format while still remaining in place because it is not a total disengagement, in any case, I did not hear it like that, but simply a transformation which is quite simply logical because it results from a rise in power of our African partners.