What exactly are foreign troops protecting in the Sahel?

Officially they are there to fight terror, but external interventions may be more about self-interest.

Foreign military footprints, especially those of the United States (US) and France, are expanding in West Africa, particularly in the Sahel. This presence is receiving increasingly hostile public criticism. It is often considered invasive, and at times ill-adapted and ineffective against growing insecurity, and even counterproductive.

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