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£365m pledged towards counter-terror force in West Africa’s Sahel region

The news came at a summit in Brussels to show support for Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.

The European Union’s top diplomat said donors have pledged 414 million euro (£365 million) to five impoverished countries in West Africa’s Sahel region, much of it to fund a counter-terror force.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the total “goes far beyond our initial expectations”.

Ms Mogherini said 176 million euro (£155 million) will come from the EU budget and bilaterally from individual member countries.

The pledges came at a summit in Brussels of 32 leaders and 60 delegations to show political, development and security support for Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.

The 5,000-strong G5 Sahel force needs around 400 million euro (£353 million) for its mission along its mostly desert borders, including near Libya — the main point of departure for migrants bound for Italy.

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