EU to back up formation of Sahel G-5 task force with 50m euros

On 5 June, EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini approved the funding of 50 million euros for a Sahel G-5 joint military force. Special troops from Mauritania, Mali, Chad, Burkina Faso and Niger will follow national armies, UN peacekeepers and French troops in the fight against jihadist militants in the Sahel region.

According to Mogherini, stability and development in the Sahel are crucial not only for Africa but also for Europe. A plan for a regional task force has been on the table since winter of 2016, but its implementation stagnated due to funding obstacles. France, which already deploys 4,000 soldiers in the area under Operation Barkhane, has been instrumental in lobbying for EU support. Last month, French President Macron has called on Germany and other European countries to intensify their efforts in the Sahel, which is a concern to Europe’s security due to terrorist activity and being an important migration route. Since its outbreak in 2013, the conflict in the Sahel has been ferocious, with the UN mission counting more than 115 peacekeepers killed.

About author: Giorgio Sirtori

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