France Launches Sahel Coalition To Combat Rising Islamist Militancy In West Africa
The French Government on Friday announced that they have launched a coalition of European and West African allies to combat rising influence of ISIS and Al-Qaeda backed militias in the region.
France also aims for further cooperation between special forces in the region.
France currently has over 5,000 troops stationed in the region and has had a heavy presence in West Africa since 2013.
Mali asked for help to regain territory from Tuareg rebels in 2013. However, the insurgency has spread to Niger and Burkina Faso.
The Coalition earlier announced in January after attacks from Islamist militants killed over 200 soldiers.
Niger’s Foreign Minister Kalla Ankourao said : ” we can now hope that the setbacks suffered by our armies during the second half of 2019 and the difficulties implementing implementing our development projects are behind us”.
The coalition will be made up of Mali, Burkina Faso,Chas, Niger and Mauritania plus French troops under a single command.
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