By setting particularly short deadlines on tender calls for French army transport contracts in West Africa, France has pulled the rug from under the feet of potential competitors of the existing contractor, Bolloré group, which should thus be able to continue to provide its services.
Emirati group Ecolog was approached to challenge the Bolloré group for the contract to transport supplies to the French armed forces in the Sahel and Ivory Coast but, finally, failed to bid in time. It has nevertheless held on to its UN contract in Mali and is developing its business in South Sudan.
Operation Newcombe, the British deployment to Operation Barkhane, is gathering information on the political and social situation in Mali to better understand the evolving security environment in the aftermath of the coup that led to President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta's resignation.
Algerian president Abdelmadjid Tebboune has been trying for several weeks to bring his influence to bear on the situation in the Sahel. He is relying particularly on African Union peace and security commissioner Smaïl Chergui, who is leading an intense lobbying operation in favour of deployment of a 3,000-strong AU force in the region.