#GS-02 International Relations
- Operation Barkhane is an anti-insurgent operation started on August 1, 2014 and ended on 9th November 2022 and was led by the French military against Islamist groups in Africa’s Sahel region.
- Operation Barkhane could be traced back to Operation Serval which began in 2013 targeting Islamic extremists linked to al-Qaeda who took control of northern Mali.
- This mission which was successful was expanded in 2014 to encompass the entire Sahel region in 2014.
- The operation was permanently headquartered in N’Djamena, the capital of Chad.
- The operation was led in co-operation with five countries, all of which are former French colonies that span the Sahel: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali Mauritania and Niger.
- These countries are collectively referred to as the “G5 Sahel”.
- Mali withdrew from the operation on August 2022.
- The Group of Five for the Sahel (G5 Sahel) was founded in 2014 as a regional, intergovernmental organization.
- It provides an institutional framework to promote development and security within its five the Sahel region.
- It was formed on 16 February 2014 in Nouakchott, Mauritania, at a summit of five Sahel countries: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger.
- As part of its security mandate, the G5 Sahel created the Joint Task Force in 2017 to strengthen the fight against threats to peace and security and bolster development.
- Its main objectives are to collect, process, exploit and share relevant criminal information among a diverse range of actors in a complex environment.
- The Sahel acts as a transition realm between Sahara in the north and Sudanian savanna to the south.
- There are frequent shortages of food and water due to the dry harsh climate.
- This is exacerbated by the population increasing rapidly due to very high birthrates across the region.
The Sahel part of Africa from west to east:
- The Gambia, Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Algeria, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea and Ethiopia.