Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger sign agreement to counter ECOWAS

Three Sahel nations in West Africa, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger, have entered into a security treaty aimed at providing mutual support in the event of external aggression. The treaty, signed on Saturday, appears to be a response to potential threats posed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Recall that ECOWAS issued threats to intervene militarily following the July coup in Niger, that ousted President Mohamed Bazoum.

Mali and Burkina Faso have pledged their support to Niger in the event of an attack.

The military takeovers in these three nations, along with their ongoing struggle against insurgent groups linked to al Qaeda and the Islamic State, have strained their relationships with both ECOWAS and Western nations.

In a formal declaration, Mali’s junta leader, Assimi Goita, confirmed the signing of a pact establishing the “Alliance of Sahel States.” This pact states that any attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of one or more of its members will be considered an aggression against all parties. The other member states will assist, individually or collectively, which may include the use of armed force.

Goita announced this development on his social media account, emphasizing the goal of establishing a framework for collective defense and mutual assistance.

Previously, these three nations were part of the France-supported G5 Sahel alliance joint force, created in 2017 to combat extremist groups in the region, along with Chad and Mauritania. Mali has since left the organization after a military coup, and Niger’s former President Mohamed Bazoum declared the force “dead” following Mali’s departure in May of the previous year.


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Written by Daisi Charles.

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