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A bank clerk counts Chinese yuan banknotes at a branch of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in Huaibei, Anhui province, June 8, 2012. China's top five banks said on Friday they have raised deposit rates to 3.5 percent, above the benchmark level, less than a day after China took a step towards liberalising its interest rate market. REUTERS/Stringer (CHINA - Tags: BUSINESS) CHINA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN CHINA - RTR339M9

A Chinese envoy on Thursday said that China backed the United Nations’ necessary financial support for the G5 Sahel joint force.

At a UN Security Council meeting, Wu Haitao, China’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, urged the international community to provide strong support to the countries in West Africa and the Sahel region, in fighting cross-border crimes and terrorism.

“Overall, the situation in West Africa and the Sahel region has been stable, but countries are still facing threats such as violent extremists, terrorist groups, cross-border organized crimes and natural disasters,” he said.

To address these challenges, Wu said that to tackle the root causes of conflict was important, the international community should focus on the countries’ development while assisting them on hotspot issues.

The Sahel region stretches across the south-central part of Northern Africa between the Atlantic Ocean and the Red Sea, touching multiple countries.

In 2017, 5 Sahel nations, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Chad and Mauritania, set up the joint force with the aim to roll back terrorism and lawlessness in the aftermath of a Tuareg separatist uprising in northern Mali in 2012.

However, due to inefficient financing, the joint force has met difficulties in attaining full operational capacity.

Concluding his statement, the Chinese envoy pledged that China was ready to work with the international community in continuing to play a constructive role in achieving peace and stability on the African continent.

Ever since its establishment, the China-UN Peace and Development Trust Fund has provided financial support to a number of projects on anti-terrorism in Africa. Strengthening the cooperation with African countries has always been a priority in China’s diplomacy, he said.

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