Sahel summit agrees need to intensify campaign against jihadists
[AlAhram] International and regional powers agreed at talks on Tuesday to intensify a military campaign against Islamist murderous Moslems in the West African Sahel region
... North Africa's answer to the Pak tribal areas...
, with French President Emmanuel Macron saying victory over the jihadists was within grasp.
Militant attacks in the Sahel have increased over the last two years, especially in the tri-border region of Niger, Burkina Faso
...The country in west Africa that they put where Upper Volta used to be. Its capital is Oogadooga, or something like that. Its president is currently Blaise Compaoré, who took office in 1987 and will leave office feet first, one way or the other...
and Mali known as Liptako-Gourma, where local authorities have been overrun.
Mauritania hosted a meeting of the leaders of five Sahel nations plus La Belle France and Spain to plot future strategy in the scrubland south of the Sahara where since 2013 thousands of French troops have been helping countries counter insurgencies.
"The heads of state stressed the need to intensify the fight on all fronts by national and international forces against terrorist groups," the final communique said.
The so-called G-5 Sahel nations comprise Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad - all former French colonies. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez also attended the summit, while other EU leaders joined by video.
"We are all convinced that victory is possible in the Sahel. We are finding our way there thanks to the efforts that have been made over the past six months," Macron said after the summit.
Ahead of the summit, a joint statement by the United Nations
...a lucrative dumping ground for the relatives of dictators and party hacks...
and a group of aid organizations painted a dark picture of the situation on the ground.
"The security situation in the Sahel countries has tanked considerably in recent months. Conflicts prevailing in the region are having unprecedented humanitarian consequences," it said.
The joint forces, led by La Belle France's 5,100 troops, have so far targeted the regional affiliate of Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that they were al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're really very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling
Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear western pols talk they're not
, concentrating military efforts on Liptako-Gourma.
French forces said this month that they had killed al Qaeda's North Africa commander Abdelmalik Droukdel
... aka Abdel Wadoud, was a regional leader of the GSPC for several years before becoming the group's supremo in 2004 following the death of then-leader Nabil Sahraoui. Under Abdel Wadoud's leadership the GSPC has sought to develop itself from a largely domestic entity into a larger player on the international terror stage. In September 2006 it was announced that the GSPC had joined forces with al-Qaeda and in January 2007 the group officially changed its name to the
Al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb....
. But the G-5 force has been hampered by a lack of funding, equipment and coordination.
La Belle France has long called for more help from its European allies for the mission, which it sees as essential to protecting the security of Europe's southern flank.
Posted by: trailing wife 2020-07-02