Macron names special envoy to African countries with French military bases

Jean-Marie Bockel, the minister for cooperation under former president Nicolas Sarkozy, has been named special envoy to Africa.

According to a letter obtained by RFI, Jean-Marie Bockel's mission will be to support Senegal, Côté d'Ivoire, Gabon and Chad as part of the evolution of French military presence in these countries.

They are the last remaining African countries where France still has a military presence.

Djibouti, in East Africa, will not be part of Bockel's mission.

French President Emmanuel Macron appointed Bockel early on Tuesday.

According to the letter of appointment, Bockel will be in charge of “changing the status, format and tasks of French bases in Africa".

Bockel is known for announcing the end of ‘Françafrique’ in 2008, a term used by historians to describe the relationship between Paris and its former colonies on the continent.

The annoucement cost him his position as minister for cooperation under Sarkozy.

On 25 November 2019, Bockel's son, Lieutenant Pierre Emmanuel Bockel, was killed in Mali during a helicopter crash as part of Operation Barkhane.

Read more on RFI English

Read also:
Diplomatic dip for France as African nations seek out stronger partners
French ambassador to Niger returns to Paris after weeks of tension
France to begin withdrawing troops from Niger this week