This analysis retraces the development of Russia's presence in Africa from the end of the Cold War to the present day and looks at how France is reacting to the return of competition between powers and its direct consequences on the African continent.
Africa has long been linked to France, and has been the scene of numerous overseas operations by the French army in recent decades. It is now at the heart of struggles for influence and the exploitation of strategic resources, sometimes recalling the practices of the Cold War era.
Despite Moscow's return to the continent, Washington is pursuing the pivot policy initiated under the Obama administration and concentrating its efforts in Asia to contain the rise of its rival China. As a result, France finds itself in the front line in the fight against armed terrorist groups and is seeing its influence diminish in the face of Russia's disinformation policies and Russian private military companies, which already have a strong presence in the Central African Republic and Mali.