WASHINGTON, DC, 13 JULY 2018 – The United States will invest $60 million in counter-terrorism operations aimed at preventing, curbing or mitigating violent extremism and conflicts and ultimately winning peace in the five countries of Africa’s Sahel, dubbed the G5.

The G5 countries are Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. They cover a mostly arid belt of land south of the Sahara Desert running across the continent from Mauritania in the west to Sudan in the east.

Speaking Thursday in Brussels (Belgium) to journalists on the sidelines of the North America Treaty Organization (NATO), U.S. President Donald Trump said his “number one goal” is to achieve “peace all over the world” especially in Africa.

Trump described the violent conflicts unfolding in Africa as “vicious and violent” explaining that the peace he seeks will be achieved “through strength”.

Africa, he said, “has got problems like few people would understand. They have got things going on there that nobody could believe in this room.”

“If you saw some of the things that I see through intelligence – what’s going on in Africa – it is so sad, it is so vicious and violent – and we want peace,” said Trump. “We want peace for Africa. We want peace all over the world,” he added.

Violent Islamic groups like Boko Haram and Al Qaeda Sahel operate within the G5 countries. Other pressing challenges include extreme poverty, human insecurity, food shortages, human trafficking, and a migration crisis – even new or masked forms of slavery.

Founded in 2014, the aim of the G5 is to strengthen cooperation on development and security across the entire Sahel sub-region.

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