(Ecofin Agency) - The deployment of a Burkinabe troop to Niger is part of a project of solidarity and collective defense. In late August, the head of the Niger junta signed a decree authorizing Burkina Faso and Mali to intervene "in the event of an external threat."
Yesterday, Burkina Faso's Transitional Legislative Assembly unanimously passed a law authorizing the deployment of a military contingent to neighboring Niger. The move, which aligns with the solidarity alliance between the two countries, aims to deal with the threat of armed intervention by West African Economic Community (ECOWAS) countries following the July 26 coup, which saw President Bazoum ousted.
"Given the current context and per its commitments to the fraternal Republics of Mali and Niger, based on the ordinance of August 24, 2023, relating to military assistance between the three countries in the event of threat or external armed destabilization, Burkina Faso, keen to provide a legal framework for military support in the Republic of Niger, seeks authorization from the National Assembly," the Assembly's statement read.
According to available information, the law authorizes the deployment of a military contingent for "renewable three-month periods". On September 16, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger signed the Liptako Gourma Charter, establishing the Alliance of Sahel States. The alliance's stated objectives include establishing a framework for collective defense and mutual assistance among the signatory parties. Additionally, it seeks to combat terrorism, a significant menace that these three Sahelian countries have been confronting for a decade in the "three-border" region.
The decision to form an alliance comes against a backdrop of regional tensions generated by recent coups d'état in all three countries. In Niger, ECOWAS is threatening armed intervention if a negotiated solution fails. Indeed, the junta has announced "a transition period of up to three years", which ECOWAS has rejected. Mali and Burkina Faso, also under military rule, have opposed armed intervention and have threatened to retaliate in the event of an ECOWAS attack.