West African leaders meet to counter extremism in the region

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OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) – The heads of state from 15 countries in the West African economic bloc known as ECOWAS are meeting in Burkina Faso to discuss the fight against Islamic extremism and the impact of the Group of Five Sahel Force set up to combat its spread.

Leaders from West Africa have long been warning that extremism, which is ramping up in Burkina Faso with more brazen attacks, threatens the entire region, and that the G5 Sahel Joint Force -with troops from Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, Mauritania and Mali – needs wider support.

Burkina Faso President Roch Marc Christian Kabore stressed that sustainable economies and operations are needed to fight terrorism in the long run, and supported a new “Desert to Power” initiative by the African Development Bank at another summit Friday.

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