Defence affairs

The New Framework in France-Africa Defence Relations -Part one

This Libreville statement There can be no new foreign policy initiative without my consent by President Mitterrand in the course of a visit to Gabon marked the end of the 1980  Parti Socialiste electoral pledge to revamp the military agreements with Francophone African countries.In a way this declaration and other policy differencies triggered events like the resignation of Jean-Pierre-Cot,the minister of cooperation and the launch of operation Manta in favour of Chad in 1983.

The Geography of Francophone defence Pacts

1n 1960,a major feature in the decolonisation policy of France was the military assistance packages that had for consequence,the creation of military outposts that are visible today in Dakar(Senegal-350 soldiers),Abidjan(Ivory Coast-950 forces) and Libreville(Gabon-350 troops).Troops stationed in these former territories have strategic,logistic, surveillance and defence equipment testing functions.Which Dominique Franque de Luxembourg,the author of armées francaises face aux nouvelles menaces du XXI siècle mentioned, in a descriptive feature on the AMX 10 RC tank.

Maritime surveillance on the coast of West Africa

The Corymbe maritime set-up along the coast of West Africa is the naval component of Franco-African defence relations.In the first quarter of this year,the exercise,Africa Nemo took place in this area.Four months later, Le Mistral,the helicopter carrier capable of transporting 500 soldiers,armoured vehicles and helicopters was at the port of Dakar for operational reasons.This zone is a strategic zone because it was here that OCEA,the ship designer and builder delivered the NNS Lana vessel to the Nigerian Navy.The NNS Lana is a surveillance and scientific research ship vital for undertaking rapid reaction missions such as fishing control duties and the towing of illegal vessels in the high seas.

A partial disintegration of post-colonial defence agreements

The debate among specialists on the immediate and remote causes of the disintegration of post colonial defence pacts is highly penetrating.For example, to a section of observers,the initial sign of disintegration of these pacts started with the training of thousands of Rwandan soldiers under the government of president Habyarimana and the failure of the army to prevent the genocide of over 900 000 innocent citizens.While another section of observers affirmed that the real disintegration of the defence pacts started in the Central African Republic.Where Russian military advisers replaced the traditional security heads and this change accelerated the end of the defence pacts in Burkina Faso,in Mali and by the end of 2023 in the republic of Niger.

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