France takes aim at Saudi over failed West Africa commitments

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France takes aim at Saudi over failed West Africa commitmentsFrance’s armed forces minister criticized close ally Saudi Arabia on Wednesday for failing to honor commitments it made almost two years ago to provide millions of euros to a West African counter-terrorism force fighting Islamist militants. Saudi Arabia agreed in December 2017 to provide about 100 million euros ($110.7 million) to the G5 Sahel force, which is composed of the armies of Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad. Groups with links to al Qaeda and Islamic State have strengthened their foothold across the arid Sahel region, making large swathes of territory ungovernable and stoking ethnic violence, especially in Mali and Burkina Faso.