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Counterterrorism: Burkina Faso and Niger plan regular joint operations to regain lost grounds

Tuesday, 23 August 2022 15:56
Counterterrorism: Burkina Faso and Niger plan regular joint operations to regain lost grounds

(Ecofin Agency) - The G5 Sahel was created in 2014 to restore order and security in the Sahel region. However, its results are hardly convincing. Faced with the realities, member states are now seeking alternative solutions to effectively combat extremism, which has gained ground since.  

Burkina Faso and Niger are mulling over the possibility of joint operations in their respective territories to effectively counter terrorism. The information was disclosed in a joint press release published by the Burkinabe presidency on Monday, August 22. 

According to the two countries, the initiative aims to address the challenges faced by their respective armed forces and regain control of the security situation. To achieve those ambitions, the parties plan to strengthen military cooperation, via a cooperation agreement and the multiplication of joint operations.  

Niger’s Defense Minister, Alkassoum Indattou, explains that military cooperation will go beyond one-off operations. Instead, the two countries will carry out regular operations that will enable their security forces to regain lost grounds and avoid ceding an inch of the territories under their control to terrorists in Niger and Burkina Faso. 

For greater synergy, Burkina Faso and Niger plan to expand the joint operations to Mali and add Benin for improved efficiency. Burkina Faso and Niger belong to the G5 Sahel, a joint force created in February 2014 with Mauritania, Mali, and Chad. With an estimated operating budget of €400 million, its mission is to restore security in the Sahel region plagued by terrorists.  

On May 15, 2022, Mali accused the joint force of being an instrumentalized and dependent organization when some member countries denied it the rotating presidency. A month later, in a letter to the current chair of the G5 Sahel, General Oumar Diarra, Mali's Chief of Staff, announced the withdrawal of 1,400 Malian soldiers from the 5,000-strong joint force whose mission is to carry out cross-border counter-terrorism operations.  

Jean-Marc Gogbeu

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