FRANCE - AFRICA

Interactive: France’s new plan to counter jihadism in Africa

Martin Bureau, AFP | A Harfang drone at a French army base in Niger

France has unveiled the broad outlines of a new military operation to combat al Qaeda-linked extremists in Africa. Discover the multi-country military enterprise known as Operation Barkhane with FRANCE 24’s interactive map.

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Twenty months after France launched a massive air and ground military operation to reclaim control over half of Mali from a motley crew of separatist and jihadist militias, government leaders and army strategists are changing gears.

Operation Serval, launched on January 2013 to push Islamist militants out of Mali, has been hailed a success by African and Western nations, but France maintains that the potential for terrorism in the Sahel-Sahara region remains a pressing concern.

Operation Barkhane will officially replace Operation Serval starting August 1, also assimilating the two-decade-old Operation Épervier in Chad.

Led by the French army in partnership with five African nations, the new crossborder strategy has been conceived to provide rapid military response to any new jihadist threat, with no pre-established mission end date.

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