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West African neighbors pledge to support Mali as country faces resurgent Islamist attacks

West African countries are pledging their support to Mali's newly elected president as the country emerges from months of fighting and an uptick in terror attacks.

Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara, who currently chairs the 15-nation regional bloc known as ECOWAS, warned Friday that the terrorist threat in the Sahel is not yet over.

West African countries have contributed thousands of troops to the French-led military intervention that ousted the al-Qaida-linked militants from power.

In recent weeks, suspected jihadists have again assaulted the town of Gao and attempted other attacks, raising fears their prominence could again grow as France looks to downsize its mission there.

West African leaders are also talking about economics, including finalizing a common external tariff, an important step toward consolidating regional markets.