The region is often perceived as filled with jihadists linked to the Islamic State or al-Qaida. There are no reliable estimates of their number, but they are likely to be far outnumbered by those fighting them. Nevertheless, the efforts of West African governments and international partners to defeat them by force have not worked thus far Ruth Maclean, Dan Sabbagh
[July 16 2019]
LONDON—Britain is extending the deployment of Royal Air Force (RAF) Chinook helicopters in support of French troops in Africa by at least six months. Three of the helicopters and 100 British personnel have been deployed to Gao, Mali, since July 2018 in support of French operations in the region.
[July 10 2018 BARKHANE: Inauguration of Gossi temporary base ]
On June 26, 2019, the temporary base of Gossi, in the Gourma, was officially inaugurated by General Frédéric Blachon, commander of the Barkhane force, in the presence of sappers who contributed to build the right of way.
This inauguration marks an important step in the realization of a project spanning several months. Until 2018, this platform located north of Gossi was occupied by a detachment of MINUSMA. It is only since last January that French soldiers have settled in this essential base for the deployment of Barkhane in Gourma. If the walls were already in place, however, important work had to be conducted by the sappers Barkhane in a very short time to make the camp functional. The result reflects their technical know-how and their hardiness
No less than 25 specialized machines were needed for the works, such as bulldozers, bucket loaders, graders, backhoe loaders, etc … This development operation now allows the new temporary base to accommodate several hundred soldiers to mark the extension of the fight against armed terrorist groups from Liptako to Gourma.
Led by the French armies, in partnership with the G5 Sahel countries, Operation Barkhane was launched on August 1, 2014. It is based on a strategic approach based on a logic of partnership with the main countries of the Sahel-Saharan strip ( BSS): Burkina-Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Chad. It has around 4,500 military members whose mission is to fight against armed terrorist groups and to support the armed forces of partner countries so that they can take this threat into account.
There is “ relatively small footprint of intelligence and special operations troops in Mali, who are primarily assisting French military forces in a counterterrorism operation known as Operation Barkhane.” Kyle Rempfer
[June 22 2019 French in action 113 km from Tongo Tongo ]
JUNE 21, 2019 Eighteen Islamic State fighters were killed in a joint operation involving U.S., French and Niger troops near the border with Mali, U.S. says that U.S. forces were “not involved.”
20/06/2019 – 16:59 “Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) totally controls Lake Chad,where the porous borders of Chad, Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon come together. None of its leaders have been arrested and none of its camps dismantled,” including in the districts of Duguri, Marte, Kukawa and Ngala where the main commanders live. After years of conflict, its long-time leader, Abubakar Shekau’s Boko Haram have been left weakened by a lack of resources and men — with a force between 1,500 to 2,000, compared to ISWAP’s 3,500 to 5,000 force, according to ICG estimates. A generation of young men, drawn mainly from nomadic communities, especially Tuareg, Dossaak and Fulani, earn their living with guns.