News BlogWest Africa - Sahel

The deployment of French military resources in Africa is accelerating

(credit: Army - EMA)

(BRUSSELS2) A Transall C-160 tactical transport aircraft joined French forces stationed in Abidjan (Ivory Coast) on Thursday (October 4). Until then based in Dakar, it is part of “a redeployment of French air transport means in Africa» to use the exact words of the General Staff of the Armed Forces. It should allow the Licorne force to expand its joint training with the Ivorian forces. The Transall will join a force which already has 450 soldiers and a Fennec helicopter. Two weeks earlier, it was the turn of the Air Force Mirages to be “redeployed” to Chad. On September 19, 3 Mirage 2000Ds and 1 Mirage F1 CR accompanied by a C135 tanker aircraft landed on the tarmac of the Kosseï air base in N'Djamena. They came to replace 2 Mirage FI CT and 1 other Mirage F1-CR from the Epervier force. Officially, the exchange is part of a long-term timetable. Every 6 months, aircraft parked in Chad are relieved in order to undergo technical inspection and maintenance operations in France. The 5 hours of flight were also to be used to “validate the capacity of the various aircraft to be projected from France on a distant territory". Perhaps a coincidence of the calendar then. Now that they are there, these new Mirages and the Transall de la Licorne could still very well be used to support the possible ECOWAS military mission in Mali. Even if Paris says it is waiting for a UN resolution and the decisions of the Economic Community of West African States before revealing its logistical support for the "micema»

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