S. Arabia and UAE pledge $130m for Sahel anti-terror force

Tuesday April 24 2018

(From L) Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, presidents Roch Marc Christian Kabore of Burkina Faso, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, Mauritania, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, Mali, Emmanuel Macron, France and Mahamadou Issoufou, Niger arrive for a summit of the G5 Sahel anti-terror coalition at the Chateau de La Celle in La Celle-Saint-Cloud, west of Paris, on December 13, 2017. President Macron hosted African and European leaders to drum up support for a new counter-terrorism force in the terror-plagued Sahel. PHOTO | AFP

Saudi Arabia has pledged $100 million towards a five-nation anti-terror force in the Sahel region of West Africa, while the United Arab Emirates has offered $30 million, French President Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday.

President Macron made the announcement at a meeting to drum up support for the G5 Sahel force, an initiative pooling troops from Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.

The leaders of the five nations, which are among the world's poorest, joined Macron and other leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the talks at a chateau in La Celle-Saint-Cloud outside Paris.

Attacks everyday

Former colonial power France is fighting against jihadists in West Africa with its 4,000-strong regional Barkhane force, but is keen for the countries affected to take on more responsibility.

"We must win the war against terrorism in the Sahel-Sahara region," President Macron told a press conference after the meeting.


"There are attacks everyday, there are states which are currently in jeopardy... We must intensify our efforts," he said.