Senegal calls on China to get involved in war-torn Sahel region

Issued on:

Senegal’s Foreign Minister Aissata Tall Sall on Sunday said she hoped China would lend support in the fight against insecurity in the conflict-ridden Sahel region at the start of a China-Africa summit.

Addressing reporters in the capital Dakar after meeting her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, Sall said she hoped China would be a “strong voice” in combatting terrorism in the vast semi-arid region.

Islamist militants are active across much of the Sahel, south of the Sahara desert, waging a conflict that has continued for years despite the presence of French troops and United Nations peacekeepers.

Sall’s statement came at the start of a China-Africa summit in Senegal, which is due to focus on trade matters as well as security. It ends on Tuesday.

The summit follows a visit this month from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to African nations Kenya, Nigeria and Senegal, against a backdrop of growing rivalry between Beijing and Washington.

China invests heavily in Africa, and is the continent’s largest trading partner with direct trade worth over $200 billion in 2019, according to the Chinese embassy in Dakar.

DR Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa are expected to attend the summit in Senegal.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is also due to make an address via videolink on Monday, according to organisers.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here