by Aly Jonas

French troops, without a fixed military base?

Les troupes françaises, sans base militaire fixe ?

French troops, asked to leave Niger by the military in power, could retreat towards Chad. Paris is increasingly losing its African bases.

It has become a habit for the French Ministries of the Armed Forces and Defense. With each coup d'état, the process is the same: discussions take place with the juntas in power, the French are asked to pack up and Paris generally complies after a deaf dialogue. After Mali, Niger. It's been more than a month since Niamey and Paris are arguing over the military presence in Niger. The military agreements linking the two countries have been denounced by the junta in power in Niger. And if Emmanuel Macron constantly said that Mohamed Bazoum was his only interlocutor, it seems that Abdourahamane Tchiani has finally achieved his goals.

Because Paris is reportedly in the process of redeploying part of its 1,500 soldiers stationed there in another African country. Although France took the time to challenge Niger's demands, it ultimately gave in. While French soldiers no longer dare leave their respective bases and French aircraft have not taken off for several weeks, France affirms that it will withdraw “certain military elements” as soon as security conditions are met. .

So it's only a matter of days. Because, in terms of logistics, it is not necessarily easy to deploy fighter planes, helicopters, drones or even land aircraft in a few days.

For their part, the United States has decided to reposition part of its personnel, from the Niamey air base to the Agadez air base. “A simple precautionary measure,” assures the Pentagon, which affirms that this has no link with the French movements planned for the coming days.

In any case, this seems like a snub for Paris, which must leave its old bastions one after the other. If Paris still has an increased military presence in Djibouti, it is not there that France should deploy the soldiers currently in Niger. The exit door from Paris could be Chad. It is clear that, for several months, the French soldiers have often had to pack up.