News: France ready to help Benin against Islamist armed groups

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Benin -France/: France ready to help Benin against the Islamist armed groups

Cotonou, July 27 (Reuters) - France intends to "respond positively" to requests From Benin and other Gulf countries in Guinea in terms of air support and intelligence to combat Islamist armed groups, French official said on Wednesday.

Emmanuel Macron arrived in Benin as part of a four -day tour in Africa which has already led him to Cameroon. The President of the Republic will then go to Guinea-Bissau.

This tour aims according to the Elysée to strengthen political and security links with the countries of West and Central Africa.

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Benin, as well as Togo and Côte d'Ivoire undergo an increasing number of attacks of armed groups linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.

France intends to complete by the end of the summer the withdrawal of its contingent of 2,400 soldiers deployed in Mali after a decade of presence in this country and seeks to redraw its strategy for the fight against Islamists in the Sahel.

Tuesday in Cameroon, Emmanuel Macron said that France planned to extend counter-line operations to the Gulf countries currently confronted with terrorist threats.

A central pillar of the new French strategy will be to help countries strengthen their armies, provide them with support and allow them to take command of field operations. The countries that request it could have French troops deployed on their territory.

Neither Benin nor Togo made a French presence request on the ground, the French official told journalists before Emmanuel Macron's visit.

On the other hand, there is a request for French support in terms of air support, intelligence and equipment, added the same source. (Report Pulcherie Adjoha and John Irish, written by Bate Felix, French version Diana Mandiá, edited by Jean-Stéphane Brosse)

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