Aletho News


Majority in France Opposes French Military Presence in Africa, Poll Reveals

By Gleb Chugunov – Sputnik – 02.03.2023

On February 27, President Emmanuel Macron announced France’s new policy towards Africa, which is planning to reduce its military presense on the continent.

More than half of French respondents that took part in a survey held by the French Institute of Public Opinion (IFOP), came out in favor of shutting down all French military bases on the continent, media report.

According to sociologists, the closure of military bases is supported mostly by residents of rural areas (60% of respondents) as well as by people over 65 years of age (57%).
The number of people who took part in the IFOP’s survey is unknown.

As for the political views of the respondents, supporters of the two main opposition parties, the right-wing “National Rally” and the left-wing “La France Insoumise”, are those who favor the withdrawal of the army the most – 72% and 63% accordingly. Approximately 47% of respondents supporting President Macron’s social-liberal “Renaissance” party, back the idea of closing the bases, as do 54% of polled voters of the center-right “The Republicans”.

The survey regarding France ‘s military presence on the continent was held after President Emmanuel Macron announced a shift in his Africa policy, promising to implement a “noticeable reduction” in the French military contingent there. However, he did not give specific information concerning the cuts.

According to the leader, France has decided to start managing its army bases on the continent together with the military departments of African nations. The new military partnerships involve training programs for host countries personnel, France’s assistance to local military authorities, in particular, in the field of intelligence.

This followed the recent French troop withdrawals from African countries in the Sahel region. French forces left Mali on August 15, 2022, after the local government announced that it was terminating defense agreements with France, while Mali’s top officials, including its Foreign Minister, Abdoulaye Diop, accused the European state of supporting terrorist groups inside the African country.

Subsequently, France officially terminated its military operations in Burkina Faso on February 20, due to a significant deterioration in relations between Paris and Ouagadougou, including Burkina Faso’s request for France to recall its ambassador and to withdraw French troops from the African country.

March 2, 2023 - Posted by | Militarism | ,

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