Niger and Burkina Faso have become the latest countries to pull out of a regional military alliance to combat Islamists and jihadists in West Africa and the Sahel. Mali had previously also pulled out of the alliance, known as the G5.

Chad and Mauritania are the only two countries still part of it.

Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger are all currently governed by military juntas, following coups.

Niger and Burkina Faso both said the grouping had failed to make the region safer and was serving foreign interests.

Most countries in the region are former French colonies, and in recent years relations between France and its former colonies in the Sahel and West Africa have deteriorated markedly.