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Operation Barkhane
Part of the 2012 Northern Mali conflict, Insurgency in the Maghreb and the War on Terror
Date 1 August 2014 – Present
Location Sahel: Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad
Flag of France.svg France

Flag of Mali.svg Mali
Flag of Niger.svg Niger
Flag of Burkina Faso.svg Burkina Faso
Flag of Mauritania.svg Mauritania
Flag of Chad.svg Chad

AQMI Flag.svg Al-Mourabitoun

AQMI Flag.svg AQIM AQMI Flag.svg Ansar Dine

Commanders and leaders
France Jean-Pierre Palasset[1] AQMI Flag.svg Djamel Okacha
AQMI Flag.svg Iyad ag Ghali
AQMI Flag.svg Mokhtar Belmokhtar
3,000 French troops[2] 3,000 fighters (all groups)[3]
Sahel Map-Africa rough

The Sahel region.

Operation Barkhane is an anti-Islamist operation in Africa's Sahel region beginning in July 2014.[4] It consists of a 3,000-strong French force, which will be permanent and headquartered in N’Djamena, the capital of Chad.[2] The operation has been designed with five countries, and former French colonies, that span the Sahel: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.[2]

The operation is named after a crescent-shaped dune in the Sahara desert.[5]


The operation is the successor of Operation Serval, the French military mission in Mali,[5] and Operation Epervier, the mission in Chad.[6]


According to French Defence Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, the main objective of Operation Barkhane is counter-terrorism:[4] "The aim is to prevent what I call the highway of all forms of traffics to become a place of permanent passage, where jihadist groups between Libya and the Atlantic Ocean can rebuild themselves, which would lead to serious consequences for our security."[7] French President, François Hollande, has said the Barkhane force will allow for a "rapid and efficient intervention in the event of a crisis" in the region.[5]

The operation will target Islamist extremists in Mali, Chad and Niger,[4] and will have a mandate to operate across borders.[4]

Forces committedEdit

French ForcesEdit

The French force will be a 3,000-strong counter-terrorism force[2] with 1,000 soldiers indefinitely in Mali. These soldiers will be focused on counter-terrorism operations in northern Mali another 1,200 soldiers stationed in Chad and the remaining soldiers will be split between a surveillance base in Niger, a bigger permanent base in Ivory Coast, and some special forces in Burkina Faso.[2]

The French forces will be supplied with 20 helicopters, 200 armoured vehicles, 10 transport aircraft, 6 fighter planes and 3 drones.[2]

See alsoEdit


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