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Wed Nov 20, 2019, 03:12 PM

France takes aim at Saudi over failed West Africa counter-terror commitments

Source: Reuters

WORLD NEWS NOVEMBER 20, 2019 / 2:33 PM / UPDATED 38 MINUTES AGO

France takes aim at Saudi over failed West Africa commitments

PARIS (Reuters) - France’s armed forces minister criticized close ally Saudi Arabia on Wednesday for failing to honor commitments it made almost two years ago to provide millions of euros to a West African counter-terrorism force fighting Islamist militants.

Saudi Arabia agreed in December 2017 to provide about 100 million euros ($110.7 million) to the G5 Sahel force, which is composed of the armies of Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad.

But nearly three years after its launch, the G5 Sahel remains perennially underfunded and hobbled by poor coordination.

Groups with links to al Qaeda and Islamic State have strengthened their foothold across the arid Sahel region, making large swathes of territory ungovernable and stoking ethnic violence, especially in Mali and Burkina Faso.

“For the G5, there was a first phase when the international community was mobilized and donors offered commitments to arm the G5, but then there were delays,” France’s minister of the armed forces, Florence Parly, told a parliamentary hearing.

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Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-westafrica-security-france/france-takes-aim-at-saudi-over-failed-west-africa-commitments-idUSKBN1XU2JK

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