Posted by News Express | 3 February 2020 | 1,311 times
France announced Sunday plans to deploy an additional 600 troops in West Africa.
In a statement, French Defense Minister Florence Parly said most of the reinforcements would be deployed on the borders between Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger.
"The president has taken the decision to increase the number of troops deployed in the Sahel-Saharan strip to about 5,100 soldiers, an increase of 600 soldiers," she said.
"The reinforcements should allow us to increase the pressure against the ISS [Deash in the Greater Sahara] terrorist organization acting on behalf of Daesh. We will leave no space for those who want to destabilize the Sahel."
Parly said Chad was expected to soon deploy an additional battalion to the G5 Sahel joint force in the border region.
France currently maintains a 4,500-strong military force throughout West and Central Africa.
Militants have launched repeated attacks against local troops in Mali and Niger that have extended into Burkina Faso.
French President Emmanuel Macron recently met with the leaders of Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger and Mauritania to discuss security issues at a summit in Pau, France.
The summit agreed on a new approach to unite forces in a "Coalition for the Sahel" to fight insurgents in the Sahel region. In a joint declaration, they reaffirmed their "determination to fight together against the terrorist groups."
The Sahel region in West Africa is home to many terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Daesh/ISIS.
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