French leader backs Africa mil­i­tary force

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - INTERNATIONAL -

BAMAKO, Mali — France’s pres­i­dent on Sun­day promised strong sup­port for a new multi­na­tional mil­i­tary force against ex­trem­ists in Africa’s vast Sa­hel re­gion, say­ing the “ter­ror­ists, thugs and as­sas­sins” need to be erad­i­cated.

Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron, meet­ing in Mali with lead­ers from the five re­gional coun­tries in­volved, said France will pro­vide mil­i­tary sup­port for op­er­a­tions as well as 70 tac­ti­cal ve­hi­cles and com­mu­ni­ca­tions, op­er­a­tions and pro­tec­tive equip­ment.

The 5,000-strong force will be de­ployed by Septem­ber, and its fund­ing will be fi­nal­ized by then, Macron said at a news con­fer­ence.

The lead­ers of Mali, Mau­ri­ta­nia, Niger, Burk­ina Faso and Chad — known as the Group of Five — must clar­ify their roles and con­tri­bu­tions for the force to at­tract more sup­port from out­side coun­tries, the French pres­i­dent added.

“We can­not hide be­hind words, and must take ac­tions,” he said.

Mali’s Pres­i­dent Ibrahim Boubacar Keita said each of the Sa­hel coun­tries would con­trib­ute about $11 mil­lion to­ward the force’s over­all bud­get of $480 mil­lion. The Euro­pean Union al­ready has pledged some $57 mil­lion in sup­port of the new G-5 force.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.