x

Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 June 2018

French president vows support in Sahel anti-extremist fight

Macron promises combat equipment to five Sahara nations.

French President Emmanuel Macron at the opening session of the G5 Sahel force summit in Bamako, Mali, on Sunday July 2, 2017, with the heads of state from five nations across Africa's Sahel region. L-R Burkina-Faso president Roch Marc Christian Kabore, Mauritania president Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, President Macron, Mali president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, Chad president Idriss Deby and Niger president Mahamadou Issoufou. Baba Ahmed / AP
French President Emmanuel Macron at the opening session of the G5 Sahel force summit in Bamako, Mali, on Sunday July 2, 2017, with the heads of state from five nations across Africa's Sahel region. L-R Burkina-Faso president Roch Marc Christian Kabore, Mauritania president Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, President Macron, Mali president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, Chad president Idriss Deby and Niger president Mahamadou Issoufou. Baba Ahmed / AP

BAMAKO, MALI // The president of France is promising support for a new multinational force against extremists in Africa's vast Sahel region as he meets in Mali with leaders from five regional countries.

President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday said France will provide combat support, 70 tactical vehicles and communications equipment to the new 5,000-strong force.

He spoke before meeting with the leaders of Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad, saying each country will have to be clear on its role in the new force to gain support from other partners.

The European Union has pledged about 50 million euros (Dh 209 million but Sunday's meetings are meant to lay out next steps for the G5 force.

Associated Press