German Chancellor Angela Merkel begun her tour of West Africa on Wednesday, a trip that will see her visit Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.

During her trip, Merkel is expected to focus on security and supporting counter-terrorism efforts in the restive Sahel region.

“In the last few years, this region has become the main focus of Germany’s Africa policy,” Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said.

“The number of terror attacks, the number of Islamist terror attacks, is increasing,” he added.

Merkel is expected to attend a regional meeting with the leaders of the G5 Sahel countries in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

Although the counter-terrorism force was formed in 2014, it has not yet become fully operational, with observers saying that the 5,000-soldier force still has a lot of work to do to establish itself in the region.

The German Chancellor is also scheduled to meet German soldiers in Mali, deployed in the United Nations peacekeeping mission there.

While in Mali she will also meet university students.

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