AFRICOM in the Sahel
AFRICOM in the Sahel

France will send 600 more soldiers into the Africa’s Sahel region in order to reinforce its military operation to uproot Islamist militants in the zone, French Minister of Armed Forces Florence Parly announced on Sunday.

In a statement, Parly said most of the reinforcement would be deployed between Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger. Another part of them would be engaged within the G5 Sahel forces.

“This is a major step in our engagement in the Sahel, (which) must mark a turning point both in the mobilization of our European partners and strengthening of the G5 forces,” the minister said.

“The fight against terrorism is our priority in the Sahel. France is on the front line, but it must not be alone,” she added.

G5 Sahel is an institutional framework for coordination of regional cooperation in development policies and security matters in west Africa.

Some 4,500 French troops started Barkhane Operation in 2014 in Sahel to help G5 Sahel countries (namely Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger) maintain control of their territory while also preventing the region from becoming a safe-haven for Islamist groups.

However, security in the region remains fragile with a series of deadly strikes staged by Jihadist fighters in the zone. Enditem

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