Macron in Mali for diplomatic push on Sahel anti-jihad force

Peace and Freedom

AFP

© POOL/AFP / by Laurence BENHAMOU | French President Emmanuel Macron (L) talks to Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita as he arrives in Mali to consolidate Western backing for a regional anti-jihadist force

BAMAKO (AFP) – French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Mali on Sunday to consolidate Western backing for a regional anti-jihadist force, with France urging greater support for the Sahel region amid mounting insecurity.

The so-called “G5 Sahel” countries just south of the Sahara — Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger — have pledged to fight jihadists on their own soil with instability and Islamist attacks on the rise.

Macron is joining the heads of state of these nations in Bamako for a special summit where France’s full support for the force will be announced, with a focus expected on providing equipment.

Sahel region

 Image result for Sahel, Africa, map

With its base in Sevare, central Mali, the 5,000-strong G5 Sahel force…

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