The Sahel region. Picture: SUPPLIED
The Sahel region. Picture: SUPPLIED

Bamako — Five Sahel countries that have pledged to pool military efforts to fight terrorism have set up a fiduciary fund to oversee donations for their campaign.

The decision was made by the defence and foreign ministers of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, Malian foreign minister Tieman Hubert Coulibaly said late on Monday.

Their countries form the so-called G5 Sahel, a French-supported group that created a joint military force in 2016 to combat jihadism plaguing the region.

Pledges in December brought total funding to more than the €250m needed to get the force up and running following a maiden mission in the volatile border zone between Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger in November.

A summit of donor nations is scheduled to take place in Brussels on February 23 to top up funds.

Coulibaly said the fund would include an oversight committee to ensure "good management of the funds earmarked by partners". Management of the fund would be "transparent … a guarantee of the success of the mission to fight insecurity in the Sahel," Coulibaly said after the meeting in Bamako, the Malian capital.

Major contributions so far have come from Saudi Arabia (€100m); the EU (€50m); the G5 members (€50m, consisting of €10m apiece); US ($60m) and the United Arab Emirates (€30m).