Sunday 9 December 2018
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africanews - 27 days ago

G5 Sahel force unequipped: visiting French, German ministers told

Head of the G5 Sahel anti-Jihadist force, Mauritanian General Hanena Ould Sidi, on Monday complained about the lack of equipment and a new headquarters after the June attack that struck Sévaré in central Mali.  “We are waiting for the Malian authorities to offer us a place. We have no office to work,” he lamented at a meeting with the French Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, and her German counterpart of Defense, Ursula von der Leyen.  Sidi cited major equipment, like armored vehicles and those against improvised explosive devices. In September, General Hanena Ould Sidi decided to move this headquarters from Sévaré to Bamako. But he stressed that ‘‘his team and the Force Commander have already begun to plan operations despite this precarious situation.“  The talks with the two European ministers focused on “the evolution of the arrival of financial aid, equipment, the rise of West, East and Central”, as well as the gradual resumption of operations, said French Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly. She added “the joint force is an important contribution to a fight against terrorism that must be ruthless”.   Mauritanian General Hanena Ould Sidi succeeded Malian General Didier Dacko at a summit of the G5 regional organization including Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad, on July 2 in Nouakchott. This replacement follows a jihadist attack on June 29 against the headquarters of the force Sévaré killing three people, including two Malian soldiers of this force and an attacker.  In 2017, the G5 Sahel reactivated its mission with support from the France’s joint force project launched in 2015 in the face of deteriorating in central Mali. Although the budget of about € 420 million has been finalized at international donor meetings, funds are slow in coming.  AFP

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