During a defense council on Tuesday, the French president announced a strengthening of French security measures in the Sahel. A decision following the deaths of six young humanitarian workers on Sunday in an attack in Niger.
“I have decided to strengthen security measures for our citizens in the region,” Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday, August 11, in a tweet posted at the end of a defense council he chaired a video conference since Fort de Brégançon, in Borme-les-Mimosas (Var) . An announcement following the death of six young aid workers on Sunday in an attack in Niger.
However, during this meeting, which dealt with the legal, military and diplomatic consequences of the attack, the President did not provide details on the measures that should be taken, in particular by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
I have decided to strengthen the security measures for our citizens in the region. We are taking measures to eradicate terrorist groups with enhanced support from our partners.
– Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) 11 August 2020
An “obvious terrorist attack”
“We are doing everything we can to support the families of the victims and respond to the attack that claimed the lives of six of our compatriots and two Nigerians,” the head of state assured. “NGO members acted, these six young people testified to a remarkable commitment to the people.”
Emmanuel Macron introduced the meeting and said that this attack, which has still not been claimed, was “clearly a terrorist”.
A total of seven people working for NGO Acted (Technical Cooperation and Development Agency) were killed on Sunday with their Nigerian guide by armed men in Kouré, 60 km southeast of Niamey, during a tourist excursion.
“The Return of the Body” and tribute
“We are continuing the effort to eradicate terrorist groups with increased support from our partners,” the French president said in a tweet.
About 5,100 French troops are currently deployed in the Sahel as part of the Barkhane force to fight armed jihadist groups, in support of the army in the five countries of the region, including Niger.
The Defense Council examined “the military consequences” and “on all (French) apparatus in the region”, says the head of state. It also focused on the operations to “return the bodies” of the six French people and the tribute that could be paid to them in France.