Sahel leaders appeal for funds to fight militants in W. Africa

Five countries in the Sahel have made a pitch for further funds for a joint force to fight extremism in their region, AFP reported. The presidents of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger made the appeal after a summit on Tuesday in the Niger capital of Niamey, ahead of a fundraising meeting in Europe later this month. The five countries, along with Nigeria and Cameroon, have borne the brunt of militant attacks in West Africa that have left thousands dead and unleashed a humanitarian crisis. The goal is to have a pooled “G5 Sahel” force of 5,000 men in place by mid-2018, which would patrol hotspots and restore authority in lawless areas.