French army commanders in Mali say they are satisfied with military operations in the North of Mali.
Since 2014 French soldiers have been deployed to the North of Mali within the framework of an operation dubbed Barkhane which started in 2013 as operation serval.
France has been successful in pushing back the rebels with air assault to the satisfaction of the country’s military planners.
Our first challenge is the vastness of the field. Mali is really vast. It is really difficult to ensure total security in this vast terrain.
“Our first challenge is the vastness of the field. Mali is really vast. It is really difficult to ensure total security in this vast terrain. That is really a cause for concern,” a French Commander in Mali told reporters.
French soldiers in the North of Mali have also been close to the population. In some occasions they assist civilians with first aid treatment.
During meetings with their Malian counterparts, they reflect about the future of this zone.
“The goal of the terrorists is to seek to destabilise the state through terrorism. This causes them to destabilise the regime in place to undermine the credibility of the force but our unity has been our push,” the commander added.
Since 2013, France has deployed about 3500 soldiers to Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad and Burkina Faso in efforts to fight jihadists.