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Counter-terrorism: the limits of G5 Sahel


At the G7 summit in Biarritz, Emmanuel Macron called for "a re-engagement of our African partners," particularly those from the Gulf of Guinea, "who were spectators, but who are beginning to see the consequences of this conflict."

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A soldier of the Malian army of G5 Sahel, institutional framework for the coordination of regional cooperation in development and security policy in West Africa, in 2018. SEBASTIEN RIEUSSEC / AFP

Analysis. Do not trust the broad smile of Roch Marc Christian Kaboré on the closing photo of the G7 summit, August 26, in Biarritz. The head of state of Burkina Faso, invited as president of the G5 Sahel, a group of military cooperation and development that brings together Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad, did not leave with miracle solutions to contain, in the words of Emmanuel Macron, "the expansion of the terrorist phenomenon in the Sahel" . Roch Marc Christian Kaboré reports from the G7 a new stability plan. This plan, which is being developed, reflects both the general concern and the difficulty of dealing with deep-seated evils, which are making more and more victims every day.

Read also Mali wants to cooperate more with Burkina to "overcome terrorist groups"

The regional situation is alarming. The center of Mali is inflamed by movements linked to Al-Qaida or the Islamic State (IS) organization, plus self-defense groups formed on community bases. Burkina Faso is metastasized. Niger is affected. The Lake Chad Basin too. And the threat slips dangerously towards the countries of West Africa, so far largely spared, bordering the Gulf of Guinea (Togo, Benin, Ivory Coast, Ghana).

"Partnership for Security and Stability for the Sahel"

The creation of a "Partnership for Security and Stability for the Sahel", announced at the G7 Biarritz, is supposed to respond to this geographical shift of violence. The content of this "P3S" must be specified at a conference that Germany and France plan to organize "in the autumn" . In the meantime, the communiqué issued on August 26 only provides the broad outline: "It will bring together the countries of the region and their international partners (...), it will aim to identify the needs in terms of security and enhance the effectiveness of domestic defense and security efforts, including by improving international coordination, supporting security sector reform, and strengthening security forces (...) Its work [will be based on ] idea that long-term development actions and effective security measures are part of the solution to instability in the region. "

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The G5 Sahel and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), including Senegal and the Gulf of Guinea, are expected to cooperate more, but not to form a regional military coalition. The idea of ​​this "enlargement" is not new. It appears in several reports and recommendations of the UN Security Council. The African countries concerned are increasing security meetings, including an exceptional summit that will bring G5 Sahel and ECOWAS together on September 14 in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso.

Source: lemonde

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