President Emmanuel Macron and his counterparts from the group known as the G5 of the Sahel (Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger and Mauritania) announced last night the creation of a military coalition with a joint command between the French forces deployed in the region and the armies nationals to fight the terrorist threat that has caused the displacement of millions of people and the weakening of all the States in the area. The main objective will be the Islamic State in the Great Sahara (EIGS), the most dangerous of the groups currently operating in the region, and efforts will focus on the triple border between Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger.
The six presidents, gathered in the French city of Pau, called for a more important participation of the international community in the efforts of the fight against terrorism, and Macron announced the dispatch of 220 supplementary military, which will be added to the 4,500 already deployed that make up the 'Berkhane' operation. The French president had urgently called the summit after the death of 13 French soldiers at the end of November in a military operation in Mali accelerated the need to set new targets in the region. But also to seek "explicit" support from the five Sahelian countries for the deployment of the French troops following criticism and anti-French sentiment that grows in the area.
The threat of the myriad of jihadist groups and especially of the subsidiaries of the Islamic State and of Al-Qaida in the region has changed and has been reinforced in recent months, they point out from Paris. The test is the devastating latest attacks against local forces, in which different terrorist groups have provided mutual support and have developed complex maneuvers. The most recent is the one that left 89 soldiers dead in a military base in western Niger, the deadliest in its history, after in December, another 71 Nigerian military died in another attack in the same region, near the border with Mali.
The Malian Army has lost another 150 men between October and November in such wild attacks that have caused the abandonment of the country's eastern border, a place that has been occupied by terrorists. According to 'Le Monde', French generals fear "a total disruption" of the Mali Army and even a possible new coup d'etat. A third of Burkina's territory is beyond the control of its army and the risk that the threat will cross borders and be installed in the Gulf of Guinea countries such as Marfi Coast, Ghana, Togo or Benin, worries France, the same that the possible arrival of combatants from the Middle East.
. (tagsToTranslate) france (t) countries (t) sahel (t) strengthen (t) military collaboration (t)