Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Earth Science News  

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Sahel anti-terror force sees teething problems in first mission
By Daphné BENOIT
Niamey (AFP) Nov 7, 2017

The maiden mission of a counterterrorism force that aims to tackle jihadist groups in the troubled Sahel experienced "logistical problems" but they are not "insurmountable", according to the military's first appraisal of the operation.

The G5 Sahel force -- an initiative comprising Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger -- last week began its first operation, dubbed Hawbi, with French military support.

"It's the first mission. We have lots of lessons to learn, but I don't think it is insurmountable," said Mahamadou Mounkaila, a Nigerien colonel, from a command post in the Niger capital, Niamey.

Construction work is still underway, but the complex is already the strategic and logistical hub of the new multinational force. It has an unprecedented mandate to operate across borders in this vast region.

Inside the freshly-painted walls, senior officers from Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso sat together, surrounded by maps of their respective countries, coordinating the movement of troops on the arid edge of the Sahara.

"It's an area which is becoming a haven for armed terrorist groups and organised criminal gangs," said Mounkaila.

"This is what is behind the creation of the G5 Sahel force. Its mission is to track down and degrade their capacity to harm."

The challenges facing the new force are daunting. The fledgling group is tasked with combatting Islamist terrorism and human trafficking across huge swathes of harsh desert terrain.

Priority number one is to re-establish authority in the frontier region, especially in the "tri-border" area where the frontiers of Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso converge, where Operation Hawbi took place.

- French support critical -

Thousands of civilians have died in fighting in the Sahel, many of them in suicide bombings, and tens of thousands of people have fled their homes from the jihadists.

"These armed terrorist groups have connections. They are capable of cooperating their actions with those in whom they find a common interest," said Colonel Saidou Nya, a Burkinabe who is chief of staff of the new joint force.

In these early stages of the G5, French training, air and armoured support is critical.

France intervened militarily in northern Mali in 2013 to drive out al-Qaeda-linked gunmen, and has maintained a force of some 4,000 troops as part of Operation Barkhane.

About 20 armoured vehicles drawn from Barkhane took part in the G5's first border convoy over the last few days.

As the first operation drew to a close, Nya said that the force aims to "grow stronger and more effective on the ground to be able to better cover the area".

The G5 Sahel has ambitious plans to number up to 5,000 military, police and civilian troops by March 2018, placed under the leadership of a Malian general, Didier Dacko.

The troops will comprise two battalions each from Mali and Niger and one each from Burkina Faso, Chad and Mauritania.

"We must also perfectly integrate our forces to be able to react effectively," said Nya.

But much of the future success may also depend on funding.

The price tag for the G5 force's first year of operations is estimated at 423 million euros ($491 million), although French officials say the budget can be brought down closer to 250 million euros. So far only 108 million euros, plus $60 million from the US, have been pledged.

A donor conference will be held in Brussels on December 14 to try to make up the shortfall.

Deadly heat from climate change may hit slums hardest
Miami (AFP) Nov 6, 2017
With sheet metal roofs, concrete floors, poor ventilation and spotty electricity, crowded urban slums in Africa can expect to get even hotter and deadlier due to global warming, US researchers said Monday. Scientists at Johns Hopkins University analyzed three informal settlements in Nairobi, including the largest, Kibera, home to nearly a million people. Along the settlements' narrow all ... read more

Related Links
Africa News - Resources, Health, Food

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Extreme dining in Shanghai: French chef's twist on haute cuisine

First luxury Perigord truffle is cultivated in Britain

Black leaders who urged farmers to dump coca on run from Colombia gangs

Swapping where crops are grown could feed an extra 825 million people

Researchers use forensic science to track turtles

50 years of data from oxygen minimum lab helps predict the oceans' future

Tiny Fiji looks for global impact at Bonn climate talks

Penn engineers develop filters that use nanoparticles to prevent slime build-up

Cities can cut greenhouse gas emissions far beyond their urban borders

2017 set to be hottest non-El Nino year: UN

Plea for 'urgent action' on climate shadowed by Trump

White House OKs report warning climate change caused by humans

OMCO Solar expands to met demand for field-fast racking systems

European lender closer to green finance goals

Mechanochemistry paves the way to higher quality perovskite photovoltaics

US renewable energy booms despite Trump vow to quit Paris deal

Study identifies additional hurdle to widespread planting of bioenergy crops

Penn researchers mimic giant clams to enhance the production of biofuel

Research aims to help renewable jet fuel take flight

Expanding Brazilian sugarcane could dent global CO2 emissions

Air force error allowed Texas shooter to buy guns despite conviction

In reversal, US tech firms back bill on human trafficking

Crime writer Ian Rankin predicts rise of 'kind and gentle' books

UN council weakens response to Myanmar after China objects

Study maps Sub-Saharan Africa's dependency on China

Tight markets, demand spike mean higher gas prices

Oil prices inch lower after Monday's massive rally

An Iranian benchmark for oil just topped $60 per barrel

Canada: Amazon to add 1,000 jobs in Vancouver

Alibaba launches electronic trading hub in Malaysia

China cracks down on fraudulent provincial growth figures

Hong Kong skyscraper sold for record $5.15 bn

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement