Inside Story

Has campaign against armed groups in West Africa’s Sahel failed?

France hosts summit of Sahel’s regional leaders following ‘unprecedented’ attacks that killed more than 4,000 people.

Last year was the worst yet in the fight against armed groups in the Sahel region of West Africa.

The United Nations says the unprecedented rise in “terrorist violence” killed more than 4,000 Africans.

The unrest has continued into the new year, with 89 soldiers from Niger killed on Thursday at a military base near the border with Mali.

France and five regional countries – Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger, Mali and Mauritania – have thousands of troops fighting groups, some linked to ISIL (ISIS) and al-Qaeda.

But anger against the operation – and France – is growing.

President Emmanuel Macron has hosted a summit to discuss whether French soldiers should stay.

Has the military campaign failed? And could the conflict spread further in West Africa?

Presenter: Martine Dennis


Emmanuel Dupuy – President of the Institute of European Perspective and Security

Hannah Armstrong – Senior consulting Sahel analyst at the International Crisis Group

Emmanuel Kwesi Aning – Professor of security studies at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre