Barkhane: six months after the Pau Summit, what effects on the Sahelian theater?

January 13, 2020 was held the Pau Summit intended to restore momentum to a demoralized and destabilized G5 Sahel under the blow of the aggression of the attacks of the Armed Terrorist Groups (GAT). Some months later there are encouraging effects on the ground, both by the pressure exerted on the GATs and by the rise in power of the Sahelian armies.

At the beginning of 2020 Operation Barkhane lost its legitimacy in proportion to the losses suffered by the Sahelian armies, and criticism from French opinion. The Pau Summit did not change the Final Desired Effect (EFR) of Operation Barkhane: holding the ground in front of terrorist groups and preventing them from constituting territorial sanctuaries. And this while the administrative, social and economic reaffirmation of the G5 states on their territories is effective and definitively suffocates GATs such as the Islamic State in the Grand Sahara (EIGS) and the RVIM (Rally for the Victory of Islam and Muslims). On the other hand, it is at the operational level that Pau has made it possible to clarify and refocus the objectives of an operation that was bogged down (dispersed means, intermediate objectives poorly articulated in the final EFR, etc.) and whose resilience was threatened by a critical qualitative improvement in GAT attacks.

French intervention in the Sahel takes place in a particularly complex diplomatic and political context, given the diversity of the interlocutors (G5 Sahel, European Union, UN, etc.). The Pau Summit aimed to provide concrete solutions to the rapidly changing tactical situation on the ground.

Inversion of the balance of power and resumption of the initiative

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