French President announces new operation in Africa

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Associated Press

Posted on July 19, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Updated Saturday, Jul 19 at 11:01 AM

N'DJAMENA, Chad (AP) — France's president announced the redeployment of 3,000 French troops in five of its former colonies across northwest Africa as part of an operation to help fight terrorism in the region.

President Francois Hollande said Saturday that the new operation — code-named "Barkhane" after a crescent-shaped dune in Sahara desert — will be based out of Chad and will help secure the region. He stressed the importance of engagement by African forces.

Chadian President Idriss Deby said it is not always France's job to ensure security in the region, and Africans must also take charge.

The two met in Chad after Hollande visited Niger and Ivory Coast.

Operation Barkhane will involve Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad and Mali, where French forces intervened in 2013 to rout Islamic radicals.

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