In the Sahel, Operation Barkhane is changing to escape the trap of stalemate

BIG REPORT – The first phase of the “transformation” of the French operation ended with the closure of a third military base in Timbuktu.

Special Envoy to Timbuktu and Gao

The last convoy from Timbuktu arrived in Gao on Saturday, along with another from Menaka. In this camp, “Beating heart” of Operation Barkhane in the Sahel, the comings and goings are incessant. In the “logistics hub” located on its outskirts, a vast 40,000 m long wasteland covered with red sand, the containers are piled up before being sorted.

On Friday, there were washing machines, sports bicycles, folded tents, etc., while waiting for a departure for France, to set up a long-term hold. The one in Timbuktu, in northern Mali, closed on Tuesday, December 14. She was “Transferred” to the Malian armed forces (FAMa) as part of the «transformation» of the French system. “It is not a vacuum that is created in the North. It is a change of position “, assures Colonel Thibaut Lemerle, the “RepComanFor” of Gao.

He commands this base of 2,500 soldiers and represents General Michon, the commander of Barkhane installed in Chad …

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