Over the past decade, Sahel has gone from being a non-place – Donald Duck always traveled to Timbuktu in the Malian part of Sahel when he had lost himself in Andeby – to become a place all governments must consider. After Norway bombed Libya in 2011 and Statoil employees Norwegians were killed in In Amenas in Algeria in 2013, public Norway has also begun to take an interest in the countries on the southern border of the Sahara.
In 2016, Norway decided to open an embassy in Bamako in Mali. In February of the following year, Norway hosted a large international donor country conference which raised money for peace and development in Sahel. When the embassy opened in January 2018, it was the first Norwegian embassy in the Sahel ever. In September of the same year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched a separate strategy for the Sahel, and shortly thereafter the Ministry was given a separate position devoted to the region.
We are also increasing our military and civilian assistance to the Sahel countries: Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad. There are about 60 Norwegian soldiers in the UN force MINUSMA who will try to. . .
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