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The Gendarme Stays in Africa: France's Military Role in Côte d'Ivoire

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2013
<mark>Journal</mark>African Conflict and Peacebuilding Review
Issue number1
Number of pages31
Pages (from-to)81-111
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This article examines France's current African security strategy against the background of its historical and recent military role on the African continent, and in light of the French intervention during the postelectoral crisis in Côte d'Ivoire. It demonstrates that President Nicolas Sarkozy reinforced France's position in Côte d'Ivoire by applying a hybrid strategy, which combines both multilateral and unilateral approaches, and thereby provides Paris with both international legitimacy and room for maneuver. Sarkozy inherited this hybrid African strategy from his predecessors, who tried to adapt to changing circumstances from the early 1990s on. In light of this continuity, it seems likely that even with the change of the French government, Paris will not fundamentally alter this course.