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West African Force Secures Saudi Arabian Backing to Fight Jihadist Threats

  • Saudi Arabia said to provide $100 million after Macron visit
  • France to host Dec. meeting to discuss G5 Sahel operation
A soldier of the France's Barkhane mission stands next to a Mirage 2000 on November 6, 2017 in a French military base in Niamey. 

A soldier of the France's Barkhane mission stands next to a Mirage 2000 on November 6, 2017 in a French military base in Niamey. 

Photographer: Daphne Benoit/AFP/Getty Images

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A West African force that’s being created to fight a surge in jihadist attacks is getting ready to be deployed after France persuaded Saudi Arabia to help fund the operation, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Saudi Arabia has agreed to provide $100 million to the force known as G5 Sahel following a visit by French President Emmanuel Macron to the country in early November, said the person who asked not be identified because he isn’t authorized to speak publicly. The European Union will probably double its initial contribution of 50 million euros ($59 million), the person said.