24 January 2014

Africa: France to Increase Military Presence

Photo: La Tribune
Militants of the Sahel region.

Yves Le Drian says France will expand its military presence in Africa's troubled Sahel region.

During a visit to Washington Friday, Le Drian told VOA's French to Africa service the new plan includes about 3,000 French soldiers to be permanently deployed in the region. He said there will be three main bases, to be located in Mali, Niger and Chad, with a logistics supply platform in Ivory Coast.

Le Drian told a press conference Friday in Washington with U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that the new deployment will allow France to better react to threats in the Sahel.

"France has decided to reorganize its posture in Africa in order to have, all over the zone, a larger reactivity, a larger specialization, so that with the support of the neighboring states, we can have prevention actions or intervention in a regional approach so that altogether we can make sure that the security of the entire zone is lasting," he said.

Asked if France could increase its presence in the Central African Republic, Le Drian said Paris had no plan to send more troops there. France already has about 1,600 troops there to try to stop deadly sectarian violence in the country.

More on This

Why the Sahel Urgently Needs an EU Backed Security Framework

The Sahel region of the Sahara faces an array of threats and regional security institutions are weak. see more »

Copyright © 2014 Voice of America. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 1,700 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.