A coup in Burkina Faso tasted a disaster for France.. 3 questions to understand the circumstances of what happened
The consequences of the current coup d’état in Burkina Faso for French intervention in the region would be so manifold and dire that it could represent the final blow to European military involvement in the region.
This is what Laurent Larchee sees in analyzing He wrote in La Croix newspaper, in which he warned that this coup and the resulting instability threaten the future of the French Operation Barkhane in the entire African Sahel region.
The writer raised 3 fundamental questions to shed light on the circumstances of this coup and the repercussions that may result from it.
First: What are the direct consequences of this development for the French intervention in the region?
To answer this question, Larchee explains that the French military presence in Burkina Faso is now limited to the special forces, the “Dali’ Sword Division”, which is by nature a secret force of about 350 soldiers, used only to hunt down and strike the “jihadists”, and was previously used as a force Commandos. I took the example of former President Blaise Compaore when he was ousted on October 31, 2014 to safety.
But it is not expected – according to the author – to be used in the current situation in Burkina Faso to protect ousted President Roch Kabore, as the situation is very sensitive, and Paris has no interest – and may no longer have a way – to play the role of a policeman in Africa, as it did in 2014. .
However, it could be used – according to the writer – in the event of a threat to the Europeans, which is an unlikely scenario at the moment.
The crisis in Burkina Faso could constitute, above all, a logistical problem for the French army, as the former head of the French military mission to the United Nations, General Dominique Trincoin, sees, as convoys supplying French forces from Gao base in northern Mali and from Menaka in northern Niger pass through Burkina Faso. France, therefore, is obliged to avoid angering the authorities who run that country.
Second: How do we envision the future of Operation Barkhane?
The writer believes that Paris will remain – until the end of the French presidential elections – in an unenviable position, “as how can it take important decisions less than 100 days before these elections?”, General Trincwan asks before adding that what is expected of the French authorities in This period is to ensure one thing, which is that there will be no loss of life among the French soldiers, which means that the soldiers will not leave their bases, as was the case in Afghanistan, he said.
Marc-Antoine Pérouse de Montclou, author of “A Lost War…France in the Sahel,” published in 2020, believes that this process is “doomed to failure from the start.”
“With this new coup, how can Paris really think about staying on the coast? How many soldiers are going to die as the situation deteriorates everywhere?” he asks.
Larchi predicts that once the French presidential and legislative elections are over, serious thought will begin for a faster withdrawal from Barkhane. A French military source was quoted here as saying recently to Lacroix: “In Mali, we are studying the completion of the matter by the end of the year.”
Third: What are the consequences of European intervention?
The writer argues that the coup in Burkina Faso weakened the European power of the Takoba, whose task, in theory, was to take over what Operation Barkhane was doing.
Takoba today consists of about 800 soldiers, half of whom are French, but this force of 14 European countries has never appeared as fragile as it is now, and the constitutional deterioration in Mali and the arrival of the Russians in this country has already prompted the Swedes to announce – on January 14 this year – For the end of their participation in this force this year, which means the withdrawal of 150 soldiers from the Special Forces.
De Montclou asserts that “the Europeans have never believed in this power”, and for them it is nothing more than an opportunity to participate at little cost in an international operation, but only on the condition that they do not lose any soldier.
It should also be noted – according to Al-Archi – that Burkina Faso and Niger oppose the deployment of the Takoba force on their lands, at a time when the Europeans were never keen to intervene alongside France in the Sahel region.
What if they would have to spread it in countries run by military councils? Trinkoa wonders before expressing his fear that this will be a good reason for them to abandon this process, especially since the Ukrainian crisis appears to them as a direct and more serious threat than what is happening in the Sahel region, he said.