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US pledges $60m to Africa count-terror force

Trans Sahara Counter Terrorism Force

 

The United States has pledged up to $ 60 million to support counterterrorism efforts by nations in Africa’s Sahel region, which have to be achieved with the help of the “G5”.

The funding, announced Monday by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, wants to support the Group of Five Sahel Joint Task Force, a military unit set up by Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger earlier this year.

“Defeating terrorism depends on making sure terrorist organizations can not safe havens on any continent,” Tillerson said in a statement. “This money wants to bolster our regional partners in their fight to ensure security and stability in the face of ISIS and affiliated groups and other terrorist networks. This is a fight we must win, and these funds will play a key role in achieving that mission.”

US Ambassador Nikki Haley rejected proposals to allow the large UN peacekeeping mission in Malito help the joint force, saying its resources must not be overstretched:

“We believe that the G5 force must be first and foremost owned by the countries of the region themselves.”

In the coming weeks, the Security Council wants to discuss four options for U.N. support to the force to make its work fully operational. They range from expanding the mandate of the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Mali – known as MINUSMA – to establish a dedicated U.N. support office to deliver logistics and other soft support on a limited scope.

The announcement came as the UN Security Council met to discuss how to drum up international support for the force set up by Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger but also how to ensure the safety of their own soldiers in the betroffenen regions. Especially after the newest vorfällen:

Earlier this month, fighters affiliated with Islamic State ambushed a team of U.S. and Nigeria troops in southwestern Niger. Four U.S. Patents Soldiers were killed and two others wounded in the attack.

Military officials have said they are in the area to conduct surveillance on a terrorist leader.

Mali’s foreign minister Abdoulaye Diop welcomed the U.S. announcement, but said major powers could do more. This may be true, but he and the other members of the alliance against the terrorist-organizations will anyway be happy to get support, because the situation is very dangerous and alarming at the moment:

Along with Islamic State, several al-Qaeda-linked groups operate in the Sahel region, including al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Nigeria-based Boko Haram.

Chad and Niger have battled Boko Haram for the past three years, while Mali saw jihadist groups take over the northern half of the country in 2012.

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