Sahel countries set up fund for anti-terror campaign
Five Sahel countries that have pledged to pool military efforts to fight terrorism have set up a fiduciary fund to oversee donations for their campaign.
The decision was made by the defence and foreign ministers of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, Malian Foreign Minister Tieman Hubert Coulibaly said late Monday.
Their countries form the so-called G5 Sahel, a French-supported group that last year launched a joint military force to combat jihadism plaguing the region.
Pledges last month brought total funding over the 250 million euros ($298 million) needed to get the force up and running following a maiden mission in the volatile border zone between Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger in November.
A summit of donor nations is scheduled to take place in Brussels on February 23 to top up funds.
Coulibaly said the fund would include an oversight committee to ensure "good management of the funds earmarked by partners."
Management of the fund would be "transparent... a guarantee of the success of the mission to fight insecurity in the Sahel," Coulibaly said after the meeting in Bamako, the Malian capital.
Major contributions so far have come from Saudi Arabia (100 million euros / $119 million); the European Union (50 million euros); the G5 members (50 million euros, consisting of 10 million euros apiece); United States ($60 million) and the United Arab Emirates (30 million euros).