Are US forces essential to war on terror in Africa’s Sahel region?

In the fight against terrorist groups in Africa, US forces provide crucial support to the G5 Sahel group (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger) with intelligence, logistics and supplies. But as the terror threat continues to spread in the region, Africa is no longer a priority for the Pentagon, which could well withdraw its troops, as announced by US President Donald Trump.

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In This Story: Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in West Africa that covers an area of around 274,200 square kilometres (105,900 sq mi) and is bordered by Mali, Niger, Benin, Togo, Ghana, and Ivory Coast.

The July 2019 population estimate by the United Nations was 20,321,378. Previously called Republic of Upper Volta (1958–1984), it was renamed “Burkina Faso” on 4 August 1984 by President Thomas Sankara. Its citizens are known as Burkinabé, and its capital is Ouagadougou.

Due to French colonialism, the country’s official language of government and business is French, but this language is spoken by approximately only 10-15% of the population. There are 59 native languages spoken in Burkina, with the most common language, Moore, spoken by roughly 50% of Burkinabé.

The Republic of Upper Volta was established on 11 December 1958 as a self-governing colony within the French Community and on 5 August 1960 it gained full independence.

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    Chad, officially known as the Republic of Chad, is a landlocked country in north-central Africa. It is bordered by Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south, Cameroon to the south-west, Nigeria to the southwest (at Lake Chad), and Niger to the west.

    The capital N’Djamena is the largest city. Chad’s official languages are Arabic and French. Chad is home to over 200 different ethnic and linguistic groups. Islam (51.8%) and Christianity (44.1%) are the main religions practiced in Chad.

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    Donald John Trump was the 45th President of the United States. Before entering politics, he was a businessman and television personality. Trump was born and raised in Queens, a borough of New York City, and received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Wharton School.

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    France is a republic and the largest Western European nation. Through expansion and colonisation in the 17th and 18th centuries France became a great power and still retains territories around the world. It has a seat on the UN security council and is the world’s fourth most wealthy country with a high standard of living and strong cultural identity.

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    Mali, officially the Republic of Mali, is a landlocked country in West Africa. Mali is the eighth-largest country in Africa, with an area of just over 1,240,000 square kilometres. The population of Mali is 19.1 million. 67% of its population was estimated to be under the age of 25 in 2017. Its capital is Bamako.

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    Mauritania, officially the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, is a country in Northwest Africa.

    Approximately 90% of Mauritania’s land is within the Sahara; consequently, the population is concentrated in the south, where precipitation is slightly higher.

    The capital and largest city is Nouakchott, located on the Atlantic coast, which is home to around one-third of the country’s 4 million people.

    The country’s official religion is Islam, with almost the entire population being Sunni Muslims. Arabic is the official language, with French also widely used due to its colonial history.

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    Niger or the Niger, officially the Republic of the Niger, is a landlocked country in West Africa named after the Niger River. Over 80% of its land area lies in the Sahara Desert. The country’s predominantly Muslim population of about 22 million live mostly in clusters in the far south and west of the country. The capital and largest city is Niamey, located in Niger’s southwest corner.

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