Sahel states set up fund for anti-terrorism campaign

A total of five Sahel countries that have pledged to pool their military efforts to fight terrorism have set up a fiduciary fund to oversee donations for their campaign, AFP reported. The decision was made by the defense and foreign ministers of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. The countries form the G5 Sahel, a French-supported group that last year launched a joint military force to combat extremism in the region. Last month, pledges brought its total funding over the $298 million needed to get the force up and running following a maiden mission in the border zone between Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger in November. A summit of donor nations will take place in Brussels on February 23 to top up funds. Major contributions so far have come from Saudi Arabia, the EU, the G5 members, the US, and the United Arab Emirates.