Wednesday, February 21, 2024
 
 

France to deploy extra troops to fight Sahel extremists

EPA/CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON / POOL MAXPPP OUT
French President Emmanuel Macron flies over Gao inside a military helicopter during a visit to France's Barkhane counter-terrorism operation in Africa's Sahel region, northern Mali, 19 May 2017. French President's visit in Mali is his first trip outside Europe since his inauguration on 14 May 2017.

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France will deploy an extra 600 troops to Africa’s Sahel region. Recently, France and Africa’s Sahel countries have agreed to step up military cooperation to fight the jihadist presence in the region.
The G5 Sahel framework for coordination of regional cooperation was formed in 2014. Its members are Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. French defense minister Florence Parly said that the extra troops would mainly be sent to the border area between Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, which is the epicenter of the fight against jihadist groups.
On 25 November, thirteen French soldiers were killed in a collision between two helicopters during an operation against jihadist militants in northern Mali.
France and G5 countries’ anti-terrorist forces are supported with intelligence and funding by the EU, the UK, and the US. However, lately, jihadist attacks on civilians and troops have increased, and France urged other European nations to increase their action in the region, warning that jihadist groups threaten the continent as a whole.
“Another part of these reinforcements will be directly engaged within the G5 Sahel forces to accompany them in combat”, Parly said, and added: “The reinforcement should allow us to increase the pressure against the ISIS-GS. We will leave no space for those who want to destabilize the Sahel”.

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