MIL-OSI Translation: BARKHANE: French and Nigerien soldiers in operation at the Malo-Niger border


MIL OSI Translation. Government of the Republic of France statements from French to English –

Source: Republic of France in French The French Republic has issued the following statement:

Captain François commands a Desert Tactical Subgroup (SGTD) of the Conti Desert Tactical Group (GTD) based in Niamey in Niger. As part of a larger operation, its subgroup and a Nigerien Special Intervention Company (CSI) were deployed on a joint operation during the month of December, on the Malo-Niger border. During this operation, French and Nigerien soldiers jostled the Armed Terrorist Groups (GAT) in the very heart of their refuge areas.

The continued asphyxiation of the GATs following on from Operation BOURRASQUE

All of the GTD Conti sub-groups were deployed simultaneously. In turn, “push” or “buttress” elements, they created vast traps in the Liptako-Gourma in an attempt to locate and destroy the enemy. “My mission was to harass the terrorists of the Islamic State in the Great Sahara (EIGS) in tactical withdrawal after a major series of setbacks following Operation BOURRASQUE”, specifies Captain François, “because they must be prevented to regenerate in their refuge areas and train new combatants. The enemy works like us: he needs a rear base. And this is also where we must strike, where he thinks he is safe “. The SGTD and its Nigerien partners formed the southern jaw for ten days in a vast pincer movement on both sides of the Malo-Niger border.


The Nigerien and French Armed Forces: a perfect complementarity

The SGTD mobilized more than 45 vehicles and 150 men for this operation. “We left Niamey on November 30 heading north towards the border,” said Captain François, “we joined the Nigerian Special Intervention Company. This reinforcement from our Nigerien partners was very appreciable. My SGTD is a cavalry formation, so we could light, recognize and be very maneuvering. But once in our positions, we had to cordon off and occupy the ground with infantry. The Nigerien soldiers in this unit are infantry, they have both heavy armored vehicles and lighter means like pick-ups and motorcycles, and that was a real added value for us. ” During the operation, French and Nigerien executives worked in pairs for greater consistency and speed in the tactical maneuver. While the French brought their know-how to the overall coordination of the operation, the Nigeriens, for their part, brought their knowledge of the terrain, the enemy and the human environment to the operations. “They do not have the language barrier, they are aware of local intrigues and obtain precise and immediately usable intelligence”, develops the cavalry officer, “and very often the reorientations during action are theirs. done, thanks to their situational assessments. We couldn’t act as effectively without them ”.


“My tactical credo: not to reveal our goals and stay one step ahead”

While the SGTD and CSI continued their advance towards the Malo-Niger border towards Inatès, another Nigerien company supported the maneuver from Tin Gara. “It was kind of a triumvirate! “Jokes Captain François,” and the understanding between us was excellent: we were among professionals! “. The enemy is very mobile, very reactive, he knows the terrain and its difficulties well. He staked out partner forces while emphasizing systematic avoidance. “So we adopted an unpredictable progression to reach points determined in advance or chosen by opportunity during the action. We crossed the Malian border to the village of Amalaoulaou, hiding our real objectives at every step. The enemy has been taken aback by our abrupt changes of lines of advance and our constant breaks in pace. We really surprised him, as evidenced by the intelligence gathered, which revealed a real stampede in his ranks. We constantly harassed him even though contact with him was too rare. He has shown himself incapable of rearranging and in the utter haste left behind valuable clues and resources that will be lacking. Driven to fault by our action, some of its elements could be located and neutralized by air strikes. Nigeriens also apprehended several suspects. We definitely retain the initiative and the advantage over the terrorists. “




Led by the French armies, in partnership with the G5 Sahel countries, Operation BARKHANE was launched on August 1, 2014. It is based on a strategic approach based on a logic of partnership with the main countries of the Sahel-Saharan strip ( BSS): Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad. It brings together around 5,100 military personnel whose mission is to fight armed terrorist groups and support the armed forces of partner countries so that they can take this threat into account.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

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