Africa

‘We are at a turning point in war’ against jihadism: French President Macron in Niger

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French President Emmanuel Macron said that the fight against jihadism in the Sahel was at “a turning point”, calling on the eight countries in this African region to redefine “more clearly the objectives”.

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Macron was speaking on Sunday in Nigers capital city Niamey, where he was paying his respects at the graves of 71 Nigerien soldiers killed in December.

“The coming weeks are absolutely decisive for our fight against terrorism. We are at a turning point in this war. We must (…) redefine the objectives more clearly at the summit in Pau (south-west France) on January 13,”said Macron, standing beside his Nigerien counterpart Mahamadou Issoufou.

“Military, political and development objectives for the next 6, 12 and 18 months must be defined much more clearly,” said Macron.

Macron arrived in Niger after wrapping up a 48-hour visit to the Ivory Coast. Security issues in the troubled Sahel region have dominated Macrons African visit, with the French leader facing increasing criticism over Pariss role in the G5 Sahel force.

The leaders of the anti-jihadist G5 Sahel military alliance are due to attend this summit in France on January 13, when Macron said they would clarify the “political and strategic framework” of the operation after tensions emerged.

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