International donors have pledged more than 3 billion euros in aid to help convert Mali into a viable nation rather than a terrorist haven.
Terrorist attacks in Mali, including a brazen assault on the headquarters of the fledgling Sahel counterterrorism force, cast a spotlight on the Islamist extremists roaming Africa.
France has taken the first steps in targeting people and groups undermining a peace deal in the central African country. Mali has witnessed growing unrest, with militant groups targeting UN peacekeepers.
A German aid worker has been kidnapped in western Niger near the Mali border. Extremists are believed to be responsible for the kidnapping, according to local media.
The vast Sahel region south of the Sahara is a breeding ground for terrorism, since security gaps between territories loom large. EU funding aims to enhance regional cooperation against jihadist terrorists and drug lords
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