G5: France to meet Sahel leaders as it mulls troop drawdown

France and five allies meet next week to discuss the Sahel’s jihadist insurgency, with Paris looking for support enabling it to cut French troop numbers in the strife-torn region. Leaders of the so-called G5 Sahel – Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger – gather in the Chadian capital N’Djamena on Monday, with French President Emmanuel Macron attending via videolink. The two-day summit comes a year after France boosted its Sahel deployment, seeking to wrench back momentum in the brutal, long-running battle. But despite touted military successes, jihadists remain in control of vast swa…

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