- Title: French military presence in the Sahel needs clarification, Macron says
- Date: 22nd December 2019
- Summary: NIAMEY, NIGER (DECEMBER 22, 2019) (REUTERS) FRENCH PRESIDENT EMMANUEL MACRON AND NIGER PRESIDENT MAHAMADOU ISSOUFOU ARRIVING AT BURIAL SITE FRENCH MILITARY STANDING PLATE READING NAME OF NIGER SOLDIER KILLED IN RECENT ATTACK VARIOUS OF MACRON AND NIGER PRESIDENT MAHAMADOU ISSOUFOU PAYING HOMAGE TO KILLED SOLDIERS BURIAL SITE (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT EMMANUEL MACRON, SAYING: "I notice in too many countries an anti-French sentiment prospering without any clear political condemnation. I cannot send our soldiers on the field in countries where our presence is not clearly requested and where they intervene in a setting which doesn't match the dignity that we owe them." OFFICIALS WATCHING NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT EMMANUEL MACRON, SAYING: "Today, the Barkhane operation is somewhat ambiguous so it is necessary for the five Sahel states to politically clarify with France the political position in which we are working militarily in order to be more efficient and erase any ambiguities that are prominent today." WHITE FLASH (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT EMMANUEL MACRON, SAYING: "Places where French and international presence is not accepted, I say it clearly, we will draw the necessary conclusions because we are talking about sovereign states, if a sovereign state in the regions says 'I don't need French or an international military presence', we should not be there."
- Embargoed: 5th January 2020 20:58
- Keywords: barkhane emmanuel macron france niger soldiers terrorists
- Location: NIAMEY, NIGER
- City: NIAMEY, NIGER
- Country: Niger
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA001BB2564N
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: French President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday (December 22) in Niamey that military and political targets of the French military in the region needed to be clarified by the Sahel states.
Macron stopped in Niger on his way back from Ivory Coast to pay homage to the 71 soldiers killed on December 10 in an attack on a military camp in Niger near the border with Mali, claimed by Islamic State.
France, the former colonial power in a number of West African countries, has more than 4,000 soldiers in the region in its counter-terrorism taskforce Operation Barkhane. The United Nations has a 13,000-strong peacekeeping operation in Mali.
French officials have expressed frustration that some countries in the region have not done more to curb criticism of French operations. Paris is also vexed that some countries have not fully implemented deals to bring more stability to areas of the Sahel with little law and order.
(Production: Christophe Van Der Perre)
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