Editor’s Note: Every Friday, Andrew Green curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent.
At a security summit in southern France this week, French President Emmanuel Macron and the leaders of five countries in Africa’s Sahel region agreed to modest increases in their joint military efforts to combat Islamist extremists. Macron pledged to send an additional 220 French troops to the Sahel to bolster the 4,500-strong French military mission that has been there since 2013. He also issued a plea to President Donald Trump not to reduce the U.S. troop presence in Africa—an appeal the Trump administration is likely to reject.
Macron called for the summit with the leaders of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger—all part of the French-backed G5 Sahel coalition—after 13 French soldiers were killed when two helicopters collided during a counterterrorism mission in Mali in November. Some officials from Mali and Burkina Faso are now questioning the effectiveness of the French military presence in their countries. Ahead of the summit, extremists attacked a military camp in Niger near the border with Mali, killing 89 soldiers.