The leaders of G5 Sahel, an alliance of five countries aiming to defeat militant groups in the volatile region, struck a defiant tone at a meeting in Niamey, capital of Niger on Sunday.
The presidents of Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mauritania and Chad vowed to strengthen cooperation even as militant violence continues to surge.
Their summit came in the wake of a raid on a Nigerien army post that killed 71 soldiers. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack. It took place closer to Niger’s border with Mali.
Militant violence has spread across the vast Sahel region, especially in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. Despite the presence of French troops in the region, attacks have become more frequent and deadlier.
Analysts say Sahelian countries are ill-equipped to defeat extremist groups.