Allied nations continue to provide airlift support to France’s Operation Barkhane


Half of all freight and personnel transported for the French-led Operation Barkhane in the Sahel is carried out by allied and European countries, France has revealed.

The French defence ministry on 25 June said its allies have since 2019 been responsible for 50% of freight and personnel transport for Barkhane forces, which are fighting armed terrorist groups operating in the Sahel region.

Spain has contributed 15% through the Mamba and Marfil missions from Gabon and Senegal. The logistical support provided by the British Chinook helicopters within the area of operation also weighs in with more than 15%. The United States (with almost 10%) and Germany (over 6%) are also strongly committed to Barkhane, as are Canada and Belgium, the French defence ministry said.

Since 1 January 2019 the United States and Canada have transported 315 tonnes and 43 tonnes respectively of freight, as part of the strategic routes linking France to the Sahel. In comparison, the French Air Force transported 676 tonnes of material over the same period.

Led by the French armed forces, in partnership with the G5 Sahel countries, Operation Barkhane was launched on 1 August 2014. It is based on a strategic approach based on partnerships with the main countries of the Sahel-Saharan strip: Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad.

It brings together some 4 500 military personnel whose mission is to fight against armed terrorist groups and to support the armed forces of the partner countries so that they can take this threat into account, in particular within the framework of the joint G5 Sahel force that is being established.