Half of the French disapprove of the French intervention in Mali, for the first time since the start of the anti-jihadist operation started in 2013, according to an Ifop poll published Monday January 11 evening by the magazine Point.
Eight years after the start of Operation Serval launched to help Mali repel an offensive by armed Islamist groups, 51% of French people questioned (i.e. half, with the margins of error) are “rather not” (32%) or “not at all” (19%) in favor of French military intervention.
Some 49% of those polled say they are still in favor, whereas they were 73% in February 2013, the day after the liberation of Timbuktu, and 58% at the end of 2019, just after the death of 13 French soldiers in Mali in the collision of two helicopters.
This poll, carried out in early January, comes after two jihadist attacks in Mali which left a total of five dead on the French side, and at a time when France is considering a reduction of its troops in the Sahel. Most of the Barkhane force (which succeeded Serval in 2014) is concentrated in Mali, but the scope of action covers five Sahelian countries (Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania).
* The survey was conducted online from January 5 to 6 with a representative sample of 1,004 people, using the quota method.