The United States and its Western allies must demonstrate they “can deliver results” in Africa’s Sahel region, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said during his visit to Niger, pledging humanitarian assistance for displaced people and support for the country’s efforts to combat violent extremism. Blinken’s trip to the West African country — the first ever by a US secretary of state — comes amid regional security crisis and growing influence of the Russian Wagner mercenary group. Blinken’s trip to Niger follows his visit, earlier this week, to Ethiopia, which is seen as part of a wider pledge by US President Joe Biden’s administration to better engage with Africa. In 2022, French troops and a French-led European Union Takuba task force withdrew from Mali. French troops also withdrew from Burkina Faso in February.
Source: The North Africa Journal March 18, 2023 17:44 UTC