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There's No Easy Way Out of Africa for French Forces

May 23, 2017 | 09:00 GMT
There's No Easy Way Out of Africa for French Forces
With his trip to Mali to visit French troops and Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita just a week into his term, French President Emmanuel Macron hopes to demonstrate the importance of Africa to his administration.
(CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Despite all of France's pressing domestic issues, its newly elected president, Emmanuel Macron, traveled to Mali during his first week in office, sending a clear message to the world: France still considers Africa a top priority. On the trip, Macron met with Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and with some of the more than 3,000 French troops and commanders stationed in the country under the aegis of Operation Barkhane. Though Macron's political strategy is still solidifying from campaign promises into actual policy, his administration will face the same severe constraints in the Sahel region that his predecessor's did, including institutional weakness, resilient Islamic militant groups and rough physical terrain -- which will make a military drawdown difficult....

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