GLOBAL ECONOMY

Sahel countries plan joint force to fight terror threat

The presidents of five countries in Africa's vast Sahel region have agreed to set up a joint counterterrorism force, though few details are yet available.

The plan was announced at the end of a meeting in Mali of the regional G5 group, which includes Mali, Niger, Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Chad.

A statement Monday said the plan would require a mandate from the African Union and United Nations as well as financing. It is not clear how large the countries want the force to be.

The five countries have been targeted in many high-profile attacks by numerous extremist groups, including Boko Haram and ones linked to al-Qaida.

In 2014, France launched its counterterrorism Operation Barkhane, which covers the same five countries.