France to send extra 220 troops to fight Islamist militants in Sahel: Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes Sahel leaders for a summit on the situation in the Sahel region in the southern French city of Pau, France, January 13, 2020. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/Pool

PARIS (Reuters) - France will send an extra 220 soldiers to West Africa to fight Islamist militants after agreeing to create a joint command structure with regional states to fight the growing insurgency in the area, President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday.

“We have no choice. We need results,” Macron said after a summit with the leaders of Niger, Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Chad.

France has about 4,500 troops already operating in the region.

(The story fixes headline to make it “Islamist” instead of “Islamic”)

Reporting by John Irish; editing by Jonathan Oatis