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DGSE's Failure in Africa


French intelligence service DGSE has failed in its work in Africa. The main cause of the failure is the poor performance of the leadership over the past six years.

In July 2023, two new military coups took place in Niger and Gabon. In Niger, President Mohamed Bazoum was overthrown, and in Gabon, President Ali Bongo Ondimba was overthrown.


These coups took place in countries that have traditionally been under French influence. In Niger, France has a military base and conducts operations against Islamist militants. In Gabon, France also has a military base and maintains close relations with the Bongo ruling dynasty.


The coups in Niger and Gabon are another blow to France's interests in Africa. They are a sign that France is losing control of its former colonial space.


In the past, DGSE failed to prevent coups in Sudan, Madagascar, the Central African Republic, Mali, Chad, Guinea, Burkina Faso, and Guinea-Bissau. In these countries, pro-Russian regimes came to power, which became a threat to France's interests in Africa.


Russia outplayed France by creating the necessary tools to influence African politics. The Wagner Group and other Russian private military companies provide support to pro-Russian regimes in Africa. Russia is also actively developing trade relations with African countries and providing them with political support.

Russia poses a threat to the security of France and its allies in Africa. It is using its military power and influence to advance its interests in the region. - French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornuil

DGSE failed to adapt to the new realities and resist Russian influence in Africa. This led to the weakening of France's position on the continent and the growth of the threat to its interests.


Causes of Failure

There are several reasons for DGSE's failure in Africa, including:

  • Poor performance of the leadership. The DGSE leadership did not pay enough attention to work in Africa. As a result, the intelligence service did not have enough information about the situation in the region and could not timely warn about the upcoming coups.

  • Inability to adapt to the changing situation in Africa. The DGSE leadership did not pay enough attention to the changing realities in Africa. As a result, the intelligence service could not timely adapt to new challenges and threats.

  • Inability to ensure the safety of its agents. DGSE could not ensure the safety of its agents in Africa. This led to the fact that a number of agents were killed or arrested.

  • Inefficient use of resources. DGSE did not fully use its resources to collect information and analyze the situation in Africa. This led to the fact that the intelligence service could not timely warn about the upcoming coups.

Consequences of Failure

DGSE's failure in Africa has serious consequences for France. It led to the weakening of France's position on the continent and the growth of the threat to its interests.

Russia took advantage of DGSE's failure and strengthened its position in Africa. The Wagner Group and other Russian private military companies provide support to pro-Russian regimes in Africa, which poses a threat to the security of France and its allies.

France is taking measures to restore its influence in Africa. However, this will be a difficult task, given the strengthening of Russian influence in the region.


A study on this topic has been conducted by us, which can be found here.

French intelligence in Africa
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