New French President Emmanuel Macron will make his first trip to Africa on Friday, just days after taking over office following his election win earlier this month.
The 39-year-old’s first stop will be in Mali, where he is expected to visit troops fighting insurgents in the country.
France has been a major player in the fight against militancy in the Sahel region, with about 1,000 French troops deployed in the region.
Under the Operation Barkhane mission, the French join United Nations troops in counter-insurgency efforts.
Reports indicate that the President has spoken by telephone to two troops who were wounded whiles on duty. It is not yet known whether Macron will be meeting any officials of the Malian government on his trip.
Mali was also the last African country visited by former president Francois Hollande, during a security summit in the capital, Bamako.
There are also other French troops deployed in other countries in the Sahel region, including Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso and Mauritania.