French President Emmanuel Macron has sought to bolster financial aid for the France-brokered West African military coalition at a meeting here to win the fight against terrorism. “We must win the war against terrorism in the Sahel-Sahara region. There are attacks everyday, there are states which are currently in jeopardy…We must intensify our efforts,” Macron told reporters on Wednesday, Xinhua reported.
“We have a very simple objective which is to have the first victories in the first half of 2018,” Macron said. Macron said he is working with West African partners to ensure 5,000 troops would be fully operational in the area by mid next year. Macron renewed the call for Algeria, a key player in guaranteeing security in the area, to join the G5 Sahel.
On Tuesday, the French President received the leaders of the five participating countries of G5 Sahel — Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso, and Chad. Germany, Italy, as well as Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates took part in the meeting to seek ways to avoid the coalition budget shortfall.
Macron said via Twitter that Saudi Arabia had pledged 100 million euros ($118 million) to the West African anti-terror force, while the United Arab Emirates promised 30 million euros.
Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, whose country is still fighting Islamist insurgents despite the liberation of the country’s northern zone, stressed “there is an urgency today that we quickly achieve results in the fight against terrorism.”
In July, Macron and West African presidents announced the creation of G5 Sahel, a new multinational military block to uproot Islamist insurgents.