EU, France pledge €1.3bn to prevent terrorism in African Sahel states

The EU and France on Thursday said their total investment in development funding, aimed at preventing terrorism in African Sahel countries, would rise to €1.3 billion ($1.5 billion). Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali and Niger have been struggling against extremism and lawlessness along the Sahara’s southern rim since a jihadist revolt which began with a Tuareg separatist uprising in northern Mali in 2012. The EU’s International Cooperation and Development Commissioner Neven Mimica said in the Mauritanian capital that the bloc’s Sahel Priority Investment Program “now totals almost €800 million,” with an extra €122 million announced on Thursday, AFP reported. France will invest €500 million for the “priorities” of the G5 Sahel, said French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. France will add an extra €220 million to the €280 million already pledged.