France to reduce troops in West and Central Africa to 600, say sources

France is planning to reduce its military presence in West and Central Africa to around 600 troops in line with President Emmanuel Macron's plans to limit the French military footprint in the region, three sources told AFP.

In February 2023, Macron announced "noticeable reduction" of French troop presence in Africa, as anti-French sentiment is running high in some former colonies and countries like Russia are vying for greater influence.

According to a plan currently under discussion with African partners, France is planning to drastically reduce its so-called "pre-positioned" forces in Africa.

According to two sources close to the government and a military source, who all asked not to be named, France will keep only around 100 troops in Gabon in Central Africa, down from 350 today and around 100 in Senegal, in West Africa, down from 350.

Paris plans to keep around 100 troops in Ivory Coast on the southern coast of West Africa – down from 600 troops today – and around 300 personnel in Chad in north-central Africa, down from 1,000 now.

His conclusions are expected in July.

Read more on FRANCE 24 English

Read also:
After Mali withdrawal: Sahel insecurity, coup contagion dominate EU-AU summit
Mali's ruling junta scraps Air France flight resumption authorisation
France closes embassy in Niger until further notice