Macron visits French troops in Mali on second official trip

Macron visits French troops in Mali on second official trip

New French President Emmanuel Macron is due to travel to Mali in West Africa, at the end of his first week in office.

French soldiers have been fighting Islamic militants in the north of the former French colony since 2013.

He is due to review some of the 4,000 anti-insurgent troops France has deployed in the region.

This is Mr Macron's second foreign trip as president. He visited German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin a day after his inauguration on Sunday.

As president, he is expected to continue his predecessor's policy regarding military presence in West Africa.


France retains a strong influence in its former colonies.

Mr Macron has talked about writing a new page in his country's relationship on the continent, and of breaking away from the old neo-colonial networks.

As a candidate, he stirred controversy at home by labelling France's colonial war in Algeria a crime against humanity - something which was well-received in the former colonies.

The choreography of the first week in office of any head of state is delicate. Impressions are formed quickly and judgements are made that often endure. Emmanuel Macron has done the diplomacy with Angela Merkel, the internal politics with his cabinet and now he's fulfilling the role of Commander-in-Chief, visiting French troops in Mali.

In part, it's good optics, being seen to support the 4,000 soldiers stationed in West Africa since 2014. He will be stamping his authority on the French-led mission fighting armed groups in the Sahel, which he's expected to pursue.

Mr Macron's new foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, was defence minister when the intervention was launched. But there's clearly a practical purpose too: to discuss France's counter-terrorism efforts and assess whether more needs to be done. 332 people were killed in attacks in Mali last year alone, and plenty of questions remain over the assassination of two French journalists there in 2013.

So symbolism and substance for the new president as he assumes the task of protector of the French nation.



Add Comment

all comments

  Other news

more
Western Digital resubmits Toshiba chip unit bid

Western Digital resubmits Toshiba chip unit bid..

27-Jun, 04:42

Western Digital has resubmitted its bid for Toshiba's flagship flash...

Khloe Kardashian shuts down pregnancy rumours after sharing 'dad and mom' photo with boyfriend Tristan Thompson after he threw her surprise 33rd birthday party

Khloe Kardashian shuts down pregnancy rumours after sharing 'dad and mom' photo with boyfriend..

27-Jun, 04:24

In the pictures, Khloe and her NBA player beau put on a romantic display,...

Diana's threatening phone calls to the Duchess of Cornwall are revealed in a SHOCKING biography about Camilla

Diana's threatening phone calls to the Duchess of Cornwall are revealed in a SHOCKING..

27-Jun, 05:55

The Duchess of Cornwall’s relationship with Charles began in 1971, after...

Liu Xiaobo: China tells US not to interfere over jailed dissident

Liu Xiaobo: China tells US not to interfere over jailed dissident..

27-Jun, 09:30

Beijing has hit back at Washington for "irresponsible remarks" after the...

Prank Wars: YouTube's 'Craziest Couple'

Prank Wars: YouTube's 'Craziest Couple'..

05-Mar, 01:38

They're now called YouTube's "craziest couple." But in October of 2007,...

Bank of Japan keeps policy steady, upgrades economic outlook

Bank of Japan keeps policy steady, upgrades economic outlook..

16-Jun, 00:36

The Bank of Japan has opted to keep its lax monetary policy intact, while...

Special aide to Brazil's Temer arrested in corruption probe

Special aide to Brazil's Temer arrested in corruption probe..

23-May, 13:57

A special aide to embattled Brazilian President Michel Temer has been...

Bangladesh arrests 27 men on suspicion of being gay

Bangladesh arrests 27 men on suspicion of being gay..

19-May, 05:32

Authorities in Bangladesh on Friday arrested 27 men on suspicion of being...