Sahel leaders appeal for funds for anti-jihadist force

2018-02-07 16:35


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Niamey - Five countries in the Sahel have made a pitch for further funds for a joint force to fight jihadism in their fragile region.

The presidents of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger made the appeal after a summit on Tuesday in the Niger capital of Niamey, ahead of a fund-raising meeting in Europe later this month.

"Given the pressure that the current security situation is placing on the public finances of member states, the heads of state invite the international financial institutions... to put in place additional resources to face it," their statement said.

The five countries, along with Nigeria and Cameroon, are at the brunt of jihadist attacks in west Africa that have left thousands dead, unleashed a humanitarian crisis and sapped economies that are already among the poorest in the world.

The goal is to have a pooled "G5 Sahel" force of 5 000 men by mid-2018 that would patrol hotspots and restore authority in lawless areas.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news from around the continent by subscribing to our FREE newsletter, Hello Africa.

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook. 

It would operate alongside France's 4 000 troops, deployed across the Sahel, and the UN's 12 000-strong MINUSMA peacekeeping operation in Mali.

So far, $360m has been pledged, led by $123m committed by Saudi Arabia.

This has provided support for two initial operations, which have taken place in the volatile "tri-border" area where the frontiers of Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso converge, and to set up a headquarters, located in Sevare, Mali.

On Sunday, Malian Defence Minister Tieman Hubert Coulibaly said the G5 force "will be operational by the end of March".

Funding, though, is needed for the force's longer-term future, including training and equipment. A new round of talks takes place in Brussels on February 23.

The initiative's major backer is France, whose defence minister, Florence Parly, took part in Tuesday's summit.

Read more on:    mauritania  |  burkina faso  |  niger  |  mali  |  chad  |  west africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.