18th March 2018
France President Macron for Talks with Leaders of Africa's Sahel in Mali
By a press release (09/07/17)
French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Mali in West Africa for talks with the leaders of five countries across Africa's Sahel region.
Macron’s official visit was to support a new 5,000 strong multinational military force to fight armed groups in the area. (Pictured: President Macron and wife Brigitte).
The five African countries, which make up so called G5 Sahel, have pledged to fight al-Qaeda-linked groups and others in the region who have alarmed the international community after launching deadly attacks in recent months on areas that were once considered relatively safe.
"Every day we must combat terrorists, thugs, murderers ... who we must steadfastly and with determination eradicate together," Macron said on Sunday at the opening of the summit with the leaders of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.
A major goal at Sunday's meeting was to find the money necessary to support the new force, which will operate in the region along with a 12,000-strong UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, which has become the deadliest in the world, and France's own 5,000-strong Barkhane military operation.
"This force is going to cost $300 and 400 million at the very least," he told AFP news agency, adding it would be especially difficult for certain nations involved which are already "choking" on military spending.
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