The Group of Five Sahel (G5 Sahel) Joint Force is expected to bolster existing efforts to combat terrorism in the region but requires international funding to succeed, said the United Nations head of peacekeeping operations during a UN Security Council briefing on Tuesday.
Assistant-Secretary-General El-Ghassim Wane told the council that the force, expected to be operational by October, will need significant financial backing to fund a first-year budget of €423 million. The five member states – Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger – have contributed to a total of €108 million raised so far, including the European Union’s €50 million contribution announced in June.
France announced an €8 million commitment for this year as President Emmanuel Macron attended the launch of the G5 Sahel force in Bamako on July 2. The force, welcomed by the Security Council in a June resolution, will include 5,000 troops drawn from the G5 Sahel nations to begin along the Mali-Niger-Burkina Faso border. A force of up to 10,000 military and security personnel is envisioned.
Wane stressed the need for coordination with regional and international partners, including France, Germany, the African Union and MINUSMA, while warning that military efforts alone won’t achieve stabilization. “Addressing the root causes of instability in the Sahel requires going beyond military action and tackling the governance gap, chronic poverty and unemployment, climate change and financing for development,” he said.
The Security Council also condemned the recent terrorist attacks in Ouagadougou and in Mali, where a Togolese peacekeeper died during attacks Monday on two MINUSMA camps.
Image: UN File Photo