Thursday, 27 February, 2020

Niger government revises toll of jihadist attack to 89

Suspected Islamic militants attack army outpost in Niger, killing 25 soldiers Suspected Islamists kill 25 soldiers in Niger: government statement
Travis Berry | 18 January, 2020, 00:36

France is also hoping for further European support for its efforts against militants, who are particularly active in the so-called tri-border region, where Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso meet.

Militants linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State have strengthened their foothold, making large swathes of territory ungovernable and stoking ethnic violence, especially in Mali and Burkina Faso.

But despite the creation and the presence of 4,500 French soldiers and more than 14,000 United Nations peacekeepers, the jihadist groups have stepped up their attacks.

Previous year was the worst to date in the fight against armed groups in the Sahel region of West Africa.

"Symbolizing this modification, it absolutely was therefore determined that "this new framework will take the form and the name of a" Coalition for the Sahel", combining the nations of this G5 Sahel, France - through Operation Barkhane and its particular other types obligations - the lovers now dedicated, along with most of the nations and companies which will wish to subscribe to it ". Macron's concerns were echoed by French defense minister Florence Parly, who backed the president late past year in his quest for "clarity" from the African leaders about France's involvement.

Pau summit aimed at clarification of the Western African leaders' intentions and plans regarding presence of the French troops in the Sahel.

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Ahead of the meeting, which came as Niger dismissed its military chief after a spate of deadly attacks on its forces, Mr Macron was expected to seek a renewal of African commitment to the fight against extremism in the region. At least 89 local soldiers were killed in a suspected jihadist attack on an army base in Niger this weekend, four security sources said.

"If the USA made a decision to withdraw from Africa, it would be bad news for us", Macron said at a news conference Monday.

The New York Times reported last month the Pentagon was considering reducing troop levels in Africa or even withdrawing completely.

These were the details of the news Macron hosts Sahel summit as Niger army chief sacked over deadly attacks for this day.

Another 2000 soldiers are conducting training missions in some 40 African countries and taking part in cooperative operations, in particular with France's Operation Barkhane in Mali, to which they provide mainly logistical assistance. France intervened in Mali in 2013 after extremists took control of major cities in the north and introduced a harsh version of Islamic law.

"Last year, military operations in Mali pushed more than 80,000 people to flee".

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