Sahel Security 2023: Russia and France Competition Forecast


    French influence in the Sahel region of Africa will most likely continue to diminish over the next two years. This will be stressed by the presence of the Wagner Group and Russian disinformation fuelling anti-French sentiment. Russia’s increasing influence will offer an alternative security provider to countries combatting the threat of terrorism.

    Key Judgement 1. It is highly likely that France’s influence in the Sahel region will continue to decline, potentially fuelling violence in the next 24 months.

    Key Judgement 2. In the next 24 months, it is highly likely that Wagner’s presence in the region will continue to grow. There is a realistic probability that Russia will replace France as the region’s military partner in the fight against insurgency groups.

    Key Judgement 3. Russia will likely continue their disinformation campaign in the Sahel region as they withdraw ground troops to Ukraine. It is likely that they will aim this at increasing anti-French sentiment, allowing Russia to expand their influence in the next 24 months.

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    Eimear Duggan
    Eimear Duggan
    Eimear is an intelligence analyst currently pursuing the International Masters programme in Security, Intelligence and Strategic Studies (IMSISS). Her main areas of interest are Balkan security, European affairs, and extremism.

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