Mali Determined To Fight Terrorism With Continued International Support - Foreign Minister

Mali Determined to Fight Terrorism With Continued International Support - Foreign Minister

Mali intends to continue the fight against terrorism, which has been spreading across the West African country over the past several years, and hopes for further international support in its eradication, Malian Foreign Minister Tiebile Drame told Sputnik on Tuesday on the sidelines of the 6th summit of the G5 Sahel Alliance heads of state held in Mauritania's capital city of Nouakchott

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 25th February, 2020) Mali intends to continue the fight against terrorism, which has been spreading across the West African country over the past several years, and hopes for further international support in its eradication, Malian Foreign Minister Tiebile Drame told Sputnik on Tuesday on the sidelines of the 6th summit of the G5 Sahel Alliance heads of state held in Mauritania's capital city of Nouakchott.

"It is an important summit, as 2019 was marked by some important events - like the acts of terrorist groups against our people and a strong determination of our country and our allies to fight terrorism. We will make a point in Nouakchott and take new engagements for 2020 in order to defeat terrorism," Drame said.

The minister added that the previous G5 summit, which took place in Niger's capital of Niamey in December, gave a new impetus to fighting terrorism in the region. According to the results of the summit, it was agreed to mobilize forces in the three-border zone between Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali, where the terrorist attacks have recently multiplied.

"The summit in Niamey on December 14, 2019, was a turning point in a way that our states decided to concentrate their efforts in the three-border zone. There is a new dynamic in the Sahel now, great determination to fight terrorism," Drame noted.

The top Malian diplomat went on to praise the international community's support for the situation development in the Sahel bio-geographic zone and welcomed the Economic Community of the West African States' efforts, which pledged to allocate $1 billion over five years to fight terrorism in the region, with the first contribution of $5 million already made.

"In the past years, the state has multiplied its efforts in a fight against terrorism, to avoid degradation of the security situation, to be able to defeat terrorism. Our forces together with their international partners, their brothers in arms have caused serious losses in the rows of terrorists. But we need this effort to be supported in the long-term, that's why we organize ourselves on the scale of G5 Sahel," Drame said.

The minister added that the Malian president was considering the option of starting a dialogue with the rebel Jihadi forces.

Mali has struggled to contain an Islamist insurgency that began in 2012 and overran the country. The French military launched Operation Serval in 2013, to drive out extremists from the country. The operation ended in 2014.

French forces now monitor the situation in Africa's Sahel region as part of Operation Barkhane. In December, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that 33 extremists were killed in Mali during anti-insurgent operations.