French President announces termination of counterinsurgency operation in Africa’s Sahel region

PARIS (Sputnik): France has deployed thousands of troops across the Sahel in a War on Terror-style campaign against Islamist militants. The campaign, which began in 2014, has seen the deployment of French, Estonian, Swedish and Czech troops to countries including Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.

French President Emmanuel Macron has announced an end to Operation Barkhane, the ambitious Paris-led counter-terrorism campaign in western and central Africa.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Macron said the mission would be shelved as part of a “profound transformation” of France’s military presence in the region which would include a partial withdrawal of troops, and added that the operation would be replaced with an international force in which France would be participating.

Macron made the remarks ahead of the G7 and NATO summits.