France attacks Saudi Arabia over failed promises to West African nations

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Updated: March 7, 2021

The minister of the armed forces of France has lambasted Saudi Arabia for making promises to West African nations and failing to deliver them almost two years after.

In December 2017, Saudi Arabia promised to provide about 100 million euros ($110.7 million) to the G5 Sahel force to fight terrorism in the region.

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The G5 is composed of the armies of Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad.

But as reported by Reuters, “nearly three years after its launch, the G5 Sahel remains perennially underfunded and hobbled by poor coordination”.

“Groups with links to al Qaeda and Islamic State have strengthened their foothold across the arid Sahel region, making large swathes of territory ungovernable and stoking ethnic violence, especially in Mali and Burkina Faso,” Reuters added.

“For the G5, there was a first phase when the international community was mobilized and donors offered commitments to arm the G5, but then there were delays,” France’s minister of the armed forces, Florence Parly, told a parliamentary hearing.

“Saudi Arabia has still not honored the promises it made … I can only regret that Saudi Arabia doesn’t honor those commitments,” she said, adding it appeared others were now starting to disburse funds.

The news agency noted that “It was a rare rebuke by France of its Saudi ally and comes almost two years after French President Emmanuel Macron had personally asked Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to contribute to the force and prove the kingdom’s intention to tackle extremist ideology”.

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Simon Ateba Washington DC
Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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