Saudi Arabia, UAE pledge 130 million euros for Sahel 'anti-terror force'
Saudi Arabia has pledged 100 million euros towards a five-nation anti-terror force in the Sahel region of West Africa, while the United Arab Emirates has offered 30 million euros, French President Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday.
Macron made the announcement at a meeting to drum up support for the G5 Sahel force, an initiative pooling troops from Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.
The French president initially gave figures for the Gulf donations in dollars, but his office later indicated that the pledges were in fact in euros.
The leaders of the five nations, which are among the world's poorest, joined Macron and other leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the talks at a chateau in La Celle-Saint-Cloud outside Paris.
Former colonial power France is fighting against extremists in West Africa with its 4,000-strong regional Barkhane force, but is keen for the countries affected to take on more responsibility.
"We must win the war against terrorism in the Sahel-Sahara region," Macron told a press conference after the meeting.
"There are attacks everyday, there are states which are currently in jeopardy... We must intensify our efforts," he said.