The Foreign Security Policy in Africa: France in Sahel Region


  • Sylvain Medessoukou Dokuz Eylül University, Social Science Institute, Tınaztepe Yerleşkesi Kaynaklar-Buca / Izmir, Turkey. Tel: +905315915598


Africa, France, G5 Sahel, Security, and Terrorism.


The security issue has taken another dimension in Africa. Setting apart the input of different conflicts and civil wars to its downfall, terrorism and extremists’ activities in the continent have made its security issue out of control of its political elites .The evolution of the international security paradigm generated by the 9/11 terrorist attacks has led to the involvement of new international actors in the continent, in particular the Sahel region. France, one of these actors, has contributed greatly in saving, rebuilding and reshaping the security in the continent. What is its security policy in the G5 Sahel region? The present paper analyses, through the qualitative research methods, the France security policy in G5 Sahel. The work points out that, despite, the good intention behind this policy, it does not guarantee full security autonomy to the African regional armed forces and recommend few alternative ways African can employ to regain the total security control in the region.


[1] P. Chalk, Islam in. Africa: West, 2004: “The case of Nigeria. The Muslim World after 9/11,”, pp. 413- 432. RAND Corporation. available at:
[2] The Norwegian Centre of Global Analyses, 2016, “Trans-Sahara trafficking”. Available at:
[3] O. Walther, ““Wars and Conflicts in the Sahara–Sahel”, West African,” Papers. Paris: OECD, vol. 10, 2017. doi:10.1787/8bbc5813-en.
[4] C. T. Ekwealor, “The art of conflict transformation in Africa,” Peace Rev., vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 341-349, 2017.doi:10.1080/10402659.2017.1344534.
[5] E. Grégoire, “Islamistes et rebelles touaregs maliens: Alliances, rivalités et ruptures”, Echo echogeo. Available at:, 2013. doi:10.4000/echogeo.13466.
[6] N. Marsh, “Brothers came back with weapons. The effects of arms proliferation from Libya,” Prism, vol. 6/4, pp. 79-96, 2017.
[7] A. Rabasa, “Countering terrorism in East Africa” in Radical Islam in East Africa. available at: Santa Monica, CA; Arlington, VA; Pittsburgh, PA: RAND Corporation, 2009, pp. 71-78.
[8] E. Hutchful, “Introduction: Africa: Rethinking Security,” Afr. J. Pol. Sci. / Revue Africaine De Science Politique, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 1-19. Retrieve available from, 1998.
[9] S. Watts, “The problem of assistance in Africa” in Identifying and Mitigating Risks in Security Secto Assistance for Africa’s Fragile States. available at: RAND Corporation, 2015, pp. 1-10.
[10] L. Ammour, Regional Security Cooperation in the Maghreb and Sahel: Algeria’s Pivotal Ambivalence. African Center for Strategic Studies, 2012.
[11] J. G. Cooke and T. M. Sanderson, , Militancy and the Arc of Instability: Violent Extremism in the Sahel. A Report of CSIS Africa Program. 2016
[12] A. Lohmann, Who Owns the Sahara? Old Conflicts, New Menaces: Mali and the Central Sahara Between Tuareg, al Qaida and Organized Crime. Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), 2011.
[13] I. Mantzikos, “Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria and neighbouring countries: A chronology of attacks,” Perspect. Terrorism, vol. 8, no. 6, pp. 63-81. available at:, 2014.
[14] J. Zenn, “Demystifying al-Qaida in Nigeria: Cases from Boko Haram’s founding, launch of Jihad and suicide bombings,” Perspect. Terrorism, vol. 11, no. 6, pp. 173-189. available at:, 2017.
[15] A.-M. East, “Centre,” Afr. and Foreign Mil. Bases. Available at:, Febr. 19, 2018
[16] G. Bender, 2015, “France’s military is all over Africa”. Available at:
[17] O. Anyadike, Febr. 2017, “A Rough Guides to Foreign Military bases in Africa”. Available at:
[18] RECAMP. Available at:
[19] A. Hasen, “Backgrounder: The French military in Africa.” in The New York Times Achieve. Available at:, 2007
[20] M. McNerney et al., “Summary” in Defense Institution Building in Africa: An Assessment. Retrieve available at: RAND Corporation, 2016, pp. Ix-Xx.
[21] C. Griffin, “Operation Barkhane and Boko Haram: French counterterrorism and military cooperation in the Sahel,” Small Wars Insurgencies, vol. 27, no. 5, pp. 896-913, 2016. doi:10.1080/09592318.2016.1208283.
[22] N. Atwill, 2011, Regulations of Foreign Aid: France. Available at:
[23] C. T. Ekwealor and N. Okeke Uzodike, Ufo.,” J. Afr. Union Stud., vol. 5, pp. 63-82, 2016. The African Union Interventions in African Conflicts: Unity and Leadership Conundrum on Libya.
[24] M. Paterson, 2012, The African Union at Ten: Problems, Progress, and Prospects. International Colloquium Report Berlin, Germany, p. 10.




How to Cite

Medessoukou, S. (2018). The Foreign Security Policy in Africa: France in Sahel Region. American Scientific Research Journal for Engineering, Technology, and Sciences, 47(1), 156–165. Retrieved from