Sun, 28 Feb 2021

ALGIERS, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- The Algerian defense ministry on Sunday denied reports that it plans to send troops to Sahel region, state-owned Radio Algeria reported.

These "ill-intentioned and false" reports "aim at sowing chaos and destabilizing" Algeria, the ministry was quoted by the state radio as saying in a statement.

Any potential participation of the army troops in overseas missions would be decided by the popular willingness within the constitution, the ministry noted.

Some foreign media outlets reported recently that Algeria agreed with France to send troops to support the G5 Sahel (G5S) cooperation group to tackle terrorist threats.

The reports came in the aftermath of a G5S summit held in Chad's capital N'Djamena in mid-February. The summit, chaired by French President Emmanuel Macron, focused on military cooperation against prevailing security threats.

Formed in 2014 by five Sahel countries, namely Niger, Mali, Chad, Mauritania and Burkina Faso, the G5 Sahel is an institutional framework for regional cooperation in development policies and security matters in West Africa.

Algeria did not join the G5S, as it had established in 2010 the Joint Operational Staff Committee with Mali, Mauritania and Niger to combat terrorism and organized crimes in the region.

In November 2020, Algeria adopted a new constitution which contains a few controversial articles, such as the possibility, for the first time in the history of Algeria, of sending "troops abroad to support UN peacekeeping missions."

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