Germany and France plan to provide equipment and training to five African states working to present a joint front against terrorism, the defence ministers of the two European countries said at a meeting in Berlin on Monday.
Enlarge image German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen (© dpa) Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad - also known as the Sahel G5 - are to be the focus of the initiative. The goal is to get them to a point where they will be "strong enough in the future to better safeguard their own security," German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said.
French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian added that Europe's security was also being defended in the Sahel.
The Sahel typically refers to a band of Africa wedged between the Sahara and the continent's savannah lands.
The five states, which set up the Sahel G5 as a counterterrorism organization earlier this year, aim to cooperate on development and security.
Northern Mali and neighbouring areas are seen as havens for rebels and Islamist terrorists. A lack of security in the region has driven the movement of refugees towards Europe.