Niger sacks military chiefs after deadly jihadist attack


Jihadist fighters have recently stepped up their campaign against military and civilian targets, with Guterres warning this month that "terrorist groups are gaining ground".

According to United Nations figures, jihadist attacks in Burkina, Mali and Niger previous year left 4,000 dead.

His remarks come after a rift with G5 leaders because of hostility toward French troops fighting in the Sahel, and in a France tired of the commitment without seeing results. Macron's concerns were echoed by French defense minister Florence Parly, who backed the president late previous year in his quest for "clarity" from the African leaders about France's involvement.

Macron wants the summit to help legitimize French operation in the Sahel by sending out a strong common message.

Macron invited the Sahel leaders to the town of Pau, where seven of the soldiers were based, after 13 troops were killed in a helicopter collision during action against militants.

President Emmanuel Macron reiterated the importance of counter-fight the jihadists in the Sahel region, Reuters reported on Monday. A "joint command" will additionally be set up, meant, a French safety origin informs us, to "plan, supervise and supervise the operations of Barkhane, elements of the armies of the countries concerned, and not only those made available to the joint force. of the G5 Sahel ".

Despite the French presence and a 13,000-member United Nations peacekeeping force in Mali dubbed MINUSMA, the conflict that erupted in the north of that country in 2012 has since spread to its neighbours, especially Burkina Faso and Niger.

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"We need results", Mr Macron said. And last Thursday another attack by jihadists left 89 Niger soldiers dead.

Militants linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State have strengthened their foothold, making swathes of territory ungovernable and stoking ethnic violence, especially in Mali and Burkina Faso.

France has called on other European nations to send special forces into the fight.

French troops were hailed as heroes in 2013 for helping to prevent the insurgency from reaching the capital Bamako.

The French military operation, France's largest foreign operation, enjoys broad support at home.

Salif Keita, one of Mali's most popular singers, urged President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta in a Facebook video past year to stop "subjecting yourself to little Emmanuel Macron - he's just a kid".

The security crisis in the region started in 2012 when an alliance of separatist and Islamist militants took over northern Mali, triggering a French military intervention to oust them.