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France to meet Sahel leaders over Islamist insurgency

February 15, 2021

French President Emmanuel Macron is meeting G5 Sahel leaders. It is thought he will try and get them to support him withdrawing French troops in the region. 


French President Emmanuel Macron and a group of five African allies are set to meet on Monday for a two-day summit. 
The five African allies are leaders of the so-called G5 Sahel countries — Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. 
The African leaders will meet in Chad's capital city N'Djamena. Macron will join them by video link. The leaders will discuss their fight against the violent jihadist insurgency across the Sahel region. 
It is thought Macron will try and get them to support a reduction of French troop numbers in the region. 
France, a former colonial power in Mali, boosted its troops in the region to over 5,000 a year ago. 
Since then, French forces have suffered a number of combat deaths, now totaling 50. 
This has led to French politicians questioning their country's role in the conflict. 
France is not expected to make any big announcement about troop withdrawal at the summit. 
Instead, France may be hoping for more military support from its European partners.