EU financial commitment to Sahel force has not materialized: AU

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-04 23:01:01|Editor: yan
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ADDIS ABABA, July 4 (Xinhua) -- A European Union commitment to support financially a five Sahel countries (G5) joint force to fight terrorism hasn't yet materialized.

The statement was made on Tuesday by African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat at the concluding press conference of the 29th African Union Summit held from June 27-July 4 in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa.

He was in particular referring to a pledge by EU to donate 50 million euros to support the force which will comprise of Mauritania, Chad, Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso.

Northern Mali was overrun by militant Islamist forces in early 2012, before a French led intervention drove the Islamists out of major cities.

However, deadly attacks on civilians and Malian forces as well as on African and European peacekeepers has kept the country in a tense situation, with neighboring countries also suffering from attacks emanating from the spillover effects of the security crisis in Mali as well as other jihadist groups in Sahel and Sahara region.

The G5 Joint Sahel Joint Force is expected to have its headquarters in Mali and will operate separately but complementarily to the present UN peacekeeping force, MINUSMA (the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali) and an ongoing 3,000 strong French anti-insurgent force in the Sahel region.

At its peak capacity, the G5 Joint Force is expected to have up to 10,000 soldiers and police personnel.