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Morocco Offers Security Assistance to G5 Sahel Countries

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Rabat – The Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita announced on Monday that the kingdom is ready to help the G5 Sahel countries face their security challenges.

Speaking during a meeting of the Francophone countries in New York City, Bourita affirmed Morocco’s ability to assist the training of troops and teach border-security strategies, the state-run press agency MAP has reported.

The kingdom is also ready to provide help in the training of imams, Bourita affirmed. The kingdom has gained expertise in religious training, which has become soughtafter by many African and European countries, seeking to counter the radical message of Islamist armed groups with a discourse promoting a moderate Islam.

Bourita called the training of imams and religious clerics a “weapon of mass construction” to combat the rising radicalization in the Sahel region.

The region of Sahel is facing a huge security challenge with the proliferation of armed extremist groups and organized crime gangs.

The G5 Sahel is a regional security bloc made up of Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Chad, and supported by France. The five countries are set to form a joint force that is going to be based in Sévaré, Mali.

In July, French President Emmanuel Macron held a summit with the leaders of the five countries in the Malian capital of Bamako.

Macron pledged financial and military support for the G5 Sahel force. He said his country will contribute USD 9 million and 70 army vehicles to the new force.

The regional African force will operate along 12,000 UN peacekeepers in the regions and 5,000 other soldiers of the French army.

Though not directly affected by the security threat in Sahel, Morocco is still closely following the security development in the region.

Moroccan security authorities are especially worried about the links between the Polisario Front and extremist groups.

In April, the head of Morocco’s anti-terror bureau, Abdelhak El Khiam, revealed that 100 members of Polisario had rejoined the ranks of the Islamic State (ISIS).

“Terrorist organizations and criminal networks travel all along the Sahel region,” he warned.

 

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