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Macron and nations from Africa’s Sahel region to step up military co-operation to fight jihadist

The Sahel is the name for the region that stretches south of the Sahara from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Red Sea in the east, or from southern Mauritania to Eritrea. Its western and central areas have been a frontline in the war against Islamist militancy for almost a decade. French role, security set to dominate Macron's talks with leaders from Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad.


Six leaders met in the south-western French city, French President Emmanuel Macron hosting heads of Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mauritania, the G5 group.

The nations agreed to a joint command structure – Coalition for the Sahel – to tackle the insurgency. “We have no choice. We need results,” Mr Macron said.

Forces will be placed under one umbrella and efforts focused on tackling the Islamic State group, they said after a summit in Pau in France.

Jihadist attacks on civilians and troops have been on the increase. This is despite the presence of thousands of troops from both the countries affected and France.

Last year saw the highest annual death toll due to armed conflict in the region since 2012. They also urged the US to maintain its support amid reports it might lessen its military presence in Africa.

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