- Title: France invests $50 mln in Sahel counter-terror training
- Date: 7th October 2016
- Summary: ***WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** CAZENEUVE AND SENEGAL INTERIOR MINISTER, ABDOULAYE DAOUDA DIALLO, WALKING AWAY
- Embargoed: 22nd October 2016 23:51
- Keywords: Senegal France Bernard Cazeneuve security training
- Location: DAKAR, SENEGAL
- City: DAKAR, SENEGAL
- Country: Senegal
- Topics: Defence,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA002530DRGN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: France plans to invest 47 million euros ($47 million) to help countries of the Sahel prepare to face jihadist attacks similar to those that killed dozens in Paris in 2015, France's Interior Ministry said on Friday (October 7).
The Sahel region, a politically fragile region whose remote desert spaces host a medley of jihadist groups, is seen as vulnerable to further attacks after strikes in Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast earlier this year.
Nearby Senegal, a Western security partner with a long history of stability, has so far been spared.
During a visit by France Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve to the Senegalese capital of Dakar, a spokeswoman said that in the future they would train all the countries of the G5 Sahel and Senegal with 42 million euros in financing.
G5 Sahel is a regional security organisation composed of Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali and Mauritania. The investment period is 2017-2022, the spokeswoman added.
French riot control officers from the CRS (Republican Security Companies) of the French National Police are currently in Senegal helping to train Senegalese police forces for urban attacks on soft targets as part of the programme.
In the simulation exercise watched by Cazeneuve as well as army elites and foreign diplomats, Senegalese police arrived swiftly on the scene after pretend masked jihadists simulated the killing three students before holing up with hostages inside a university bus.
"We have decided to strengthen our cooperation between our police in order for the first responders and Special Forces to intervene at the highest level of efficiency in the event of a mass killing," said Cazeneuve in a speech shortly after the demonstration.
Former colonial power France retains a military presence in Senegal with 350 forces. A much larger force of 3,500 is spread across Chad, Mauritania, Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso to hunt down jihadists.
Senegal's ally the United States has also boosted military cooperation with the country and this year signed a cooperation agreement to ease the deployment of American troops there.
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