France on Sunday pledged support to a new African anti-terrorism force in the Sahel region, announcing a contribution of $9 million (8 million Euros) toward its creation by the end of the year.
“Our enemies are cowards, but they have determination. They want to destroy us,” President Emmanuel Macron told leaders from Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad, the so-called G5-Sahel countries, in the Malian capital Bamako.
The new regional anti-terror force is set to include as many as 5,000 soldiers, with one battalion from each of the G5 countries.
Macron said France would contribute more than 8 million Euros in military support this year.
He mentioned a contribution of 70 vehicles, without saying whether that was included in the sum.
The president also announced 200 million Euros in French development aid to the Sahel region over the next five years.
The European Union has also pledged 50 million Euros toward the new force.
France is seeking additional financing from partners including Germany and the US