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Czechs to spend million euro on defence of Sahel countries

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Prague, Feb 21 (CTK) – The Czech government will send one million euros in support of the units of five African countries that protect their borders on the southern rim of Sahara with the help of the African Union and the United Nations, the government said in its press release on Wednesday.

The money is to prevent a migration crisis, the government said on its webpage.

“This sum from the Defence Ministry budget will be sent to the financial mechanism EU African Peace Facility in order to support the G5 Sahel Joint Force,” the press release said.

The EU fund for Africa was established in 2015 at the Malta summit where leaders of European and African countries met.

The fund is to have 1.8 billion euros to deal with crises in Africa and in support of stability in the region.

The joined units of Sahel countries, specifically Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Mali, Niger and Chad, were formed with the objective of improving coordination of these countries in the sphere of defence in February 2014.

They defend their border areas, focusing on the fight against terrorism.

In terms of security and transit illegal migration, Sahel is becoming a crucial region both for the EU and the Czech Republic, the government said.

In January, the government decided to send about 225 million crowns to the EU’s fund for Africa that covers projects aimed to stem and help tackle the migrant crisis in Libya.

“The Czech Republic recently made a considerable contribution to Libya to protect its southern border. Now the government continues with the steps towards the limitation of migrant flows,” the government said.

The Czech Republic previously sent over 1.6 million euros (over 42 million crowns) to the fund.

Last year, the Czech cabinet approved a contribution of 25 million crowns to the operation of Libya’s coast and naval guards.

Furthermore, a project has been launched in cooperation with Italy to help improve the situation of people in the Ivory Coast. The Czech contribution of about 26 million crowns will help improve local healthcare and facilitate refugees’ return to the country.

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