On Tuesday, French President, Emmanuel Macron, stated that France would step up its fight against terrorism in Africa’s Sahel Region. He pledged to redeploy troops to Africa, to further assist in suppressing terrorism.
During his speech at the G5 Sahel Summit, Macron said that the summit sought to “consolidate the gains” achieved in the fight against terrorism in the Sahel region. The summit was held in the Mauritanian capital, Nouakchott, and brought together the heads of state of the G5 Sahel members Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger, as well as France and Spain,
France has added 500 troops to its Sahel mission after a summit in Pau, where the leaders reiterated the importance of the operation. “We are convinced that victory is possible in the Sahel. We are finding our way there, thanks to the efforts that have been made over the past six months,” Macron said. “Areas have been taken from terrorists groups and the armies are being redeployed,” he added. Macron also noted that some European countries have agreed to send forces to back up the established military presence in the region, “we are going to consolidate, and amplify this dynamic!”.
This was the French President’s first trip outside of Europe since the beginning of the global COVID-19 crisis. It is aimed at showing “solidarity” toward the African continent. This was also Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’ first trip abroad since a strict lockdown was adopted in Spain, in mid-March to slow down the spread of the pandemic.
Tuesday’s summit was called to set new milestones, and raise the operational levels of the armies, as the victories remain fragile, said organizers. Counter-terrorism operations along the Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mali tri-border region will be ongoing. The heads of state of the G5, also called for increased military engagement by the international community. They expressed gratitude for the support provided by France, the US, and the United Nations mission in Mali.