14 December 2017

G5 Sahel: 5,000 troops to win the war against terrorism in the region

A G5 Sahel support meeting was held on 13 December in La Celle-Saint-Cloud. At the start of the year, the decision was made to form a 5,000-strong counter-terrorism force of soldiers from five countries: Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad.

The meeting enabled mobilisation to be stepped up around the G5 Sahel: the pace needs to be ramped up as "we must win the war against terrorism in the Sahel-Sahara region […] which is at its height," the President of the Republic underscored.

"The G5 Sahel is an initiative that is growing in strength […] but there needs to be swifter progress"
Florence Parly
Minister for the Armed Forces , 13 December 2017

A fully-fledged coalition on the Sahel has been launched. In addition to the five nations involved, the G5 key partners were represented to confirm their support, including the European Union, African Union, Germany, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. The target goal is clear: to obtain military victories by the first half of 2018.

Major financial commitments have been made. Saudi Arabia has pledged up to €100m and the United Arab Emirates €30m. These contributions supplement pledges from the EU (€50m) and United States ($60m).

Plans have also been announced to speed up operations. Efforts will be geared towards the centre region (Mali, Burkina-Faso and Niger), with a scaling-up of the troops engaged, bolstering of commanding officers’ means and fast-tracked operational planning. Discussions on how the UN mission in the Sahel and the G5 will tie in are also expected to continue.

This meeting marks a further step forward after the adoption of two UN Security Council resolutions, one as recent as last week, which has strengthened UN support.

A support and planning conference is scheduled to be held on 23 February 2018 in Brussels, and political and development-level involvement must continue.

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