(Ecofin Agency) - Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso are standing up for each other. To further materialize this alliance, they signed a mutual defense charter on September 16 to collectively deal with external threats.
This new move is a direct response to threats of military intervention in Niger by ECOWAS. The regional organization, which has imposed heavy economic sanctions on Niger since July 30 following the July 26 coup, threatens to use military force if the junta does not restore President Bazoum to his functions. And even though ECOWAS did not provide details on when the interventions would launch, Niger had already sought assistance from its two allies.
"I have signed today with the heads of state of Burkina Faso and Niger the Liptako-Gourma Charter establishing the Sahel States Alliance (AES) aimed at creating a framework for collective defense and mutual assistance for the benefit of our populations," Mali's junta leader, Assimi Goïta, wrote on X (formerly Twitter).
Speaking on the alliance, the Malian Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop explained that per the charter, "any violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of one or more contracting parties will be considered an aggression against the other parties and will trigger a duty of assistance and relief by all parties, individually or collectively, including the use of armed force to restore and ensure security within the area covered by the Alliance."
Let’s note that the Liptako-Gourma Charter refers to the "three borders" area where the jihadist threat is concentrated in the Sahel region.