French President Emmanuel Macron has announced that his country will deepen its engagement in the Sahel region to guard against the growing threats from Islamic Jihadists.
The presidents of the G5 Sahel countries were on Monday received in Pau, France, by Emmanuel Macron for a summit devoted to the situation in the Sahel.
At the end of their discussions, the presidents of the six countries announced a strengthening of their military cooperation. As desired by France, the presidents of the G5 Sahel countries have clarified their position vis-à-vis French intervention in the region.
However, none of the five Sahelian presidents spoke on the subject at the joint press conference but the clarification sought by Paris did take place in the joint declaration.
The presidents of the Sahelian countries express their “wish for the continuation of France’s military engagement in the Sahel”.
They plead “for a strengthening of the international presence alongside them”. The heads of state also express “their appreciation for the crucial support of the United States” and hope that this support will continue, while Washington is considering reducing its military presence in the region.
“This joint action, according to the presidents of the G5, aims to protect the civilian population, to defend the sovereignty of States, to prevent an extension of the terrorist threat in border countries. So is much for the “clarification” aspect demanded by Paris following the rise of anti-French sentiment in the region.
The heads of state then declared that they want to “increase and coordinate their efforts with a view to a rapid solution to the Libyan crisis”, which they consider as source of instability in the Sahel.
The six presidents also finally announced the establishment of a new political, strategic and operational framework, a new framework called “coalition for the Sahel” and which will bring together the G5 countries, France and the other partner countries.
This new framework will be structured around 4 pillars: a first strategic and military pillar, a second which concerns the training of Sahelian armies, a third which deals with the return of the State and the administrations and a last devoted to development.
As announced, the first pillar acts as a refocusing of military operations on the region of the three borders between Mali, Burkina and Niger, where the attacks are concentrated. Particularly those of the katiba considered to be the most dangerous: the Islamic State in the great Sahara.