NATO’s war in Libya was its first major military operation in Africa, but it was not the first European military footprint on the continent.
Mali recently announced that it would no longer be part of the G5 Sahel. From the beginning, it was clear that the formation of the G5 Sahel was encouraged by France, and that the real focus was to be security.
French troops have now begun to leave Mali, but they are not returning to France.
With one of every three lightbulbs in France being lit by the yellow-cake uranium from Niger, its armies have garrisoned the Sahel, from Mauritania at one end to Chad at the other, as part of Operation Barkhane. War is what turns on the lights in France.