EU pledges 50 million euros to African counterterror force
BRUSSELS – The European Union is pledging 50 million euros ($61 million) to a joint counterterror force in West Africa’s Sahel region, as leaders gather Friday in a show of support for the impoverished nations.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says the EU will “provide an additional 50 million euros to reinforce (the new force’s) operational capacities.”
He urges around 30 EU and African leaders in Brussels to support Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger to donate “at the level required for what is at stake and what is needed.”
The 5,000-strong G5 Sahel force is seeking around 400 million euros for its mission along mostly desert borders, including near Libya — the main jumping-off point for African migrants bound for Italy.