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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

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Sahel Nations-Mali, Niger, & Burkina Faso Sign Pact Assuring Support

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Three West African Sahel countries—Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso—ruled by military juntas pledged on Saturday to support one another in the event of internal uprising or foreign assault.

The three nations are having difficulty containing Islamic rebels affiliated to al Qaeda and the Islamic State, and the coups have damaged their relationships with regional allies and international partners.

The recent coup among these three Sahel nations have been in Niger which has deepened the rift between these nations and that of the Economic Community of West African States, a regional organisation that has threatened to use force to restore constitutional government in the country.

In case of an assault, Mali and Burkina Faso have committed to help Niger. They have made a pact, known as the Alliance of Sahel States. It charter read, “Any attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of one or more contracted parties will be considered an aggression against the other parties.” The charter also mentioned that the other parties will support the attacked state separately or combined, with using armed force.

Assimi Goita, leader of Mali junta wrote on X, “I have today signed with the Heads of State of Burkina Faso and Niger the Liptako-Gourma charter establishing the Alliance of Sahel States, with the aim of establishing a collective defence and mutual assistance framework.”

The G5 Sahel alliance, a collaborative force with Chad and Mauritania that was established in 2017 to combat Islamist organisations in the area, include all three of these countries as members.

Following a military coup, Mali quit the inactive organisation, and the country was expelled. Ousted president of Niger Mohamed Bazoum declared the army of the alliance to be “dead” in May of last year after Mali left.

Since the coups, ties between France and the three states have deteriorated.

After being ordered to withdraw its ambassador and troops from Mali and Burkina Faso, France is now engaged in a tense standoff with the junta that has taken control of Niger.

France has declined to acknowledge the junta’s power.

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