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Security Agreement Signed by Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso to Strengthen Defense against Rebellion and External Aggression

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The Sahel Countries of Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso Sign Security Agreement

On Saturday, the West African Sahel countries of Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso, which are currently ruled by juntas, came together to sign a security agreement. The agreement aims to provide mutual assistance and support in the case of rebellion or external aggression.

These three countries not only face internal unrest but also suffer from terrorism associated with Al-Qaeda and ISIS. Additionally, they have experienced strained relations with neighboring countries and international partners due to the recent coups.

The Impact of the Recent Coup in Niger

The recent coup in Niger has further strained relations between these three countries and the Economic Community of West African States, a regional bloc. The bloc threatened to use force to restore constitutional rule in Niger, leading to tensions.

Mali and Burkina Faso have pledged to provide assistance to Niger in the event of an attack.

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The Alliance of Sahel States

The security agreement, known as the Alliance of Sahel States, emphasizes that any attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of one or more of the contracting parties will be seen as an aggression against all parties involved. It also states that other countries can provide individual or collective assistance, including the use of armed force.

Assimi Goita, the leader of the Malian military junta, expressed his commitment to the alliance, stating, “Today, I signed the Liptako-Gourma Charter with the heads of state of Burkina Faso and Niger to create an alliance of Sahel countries. Our aim is to establish a framework for collective defense and mutual assistance.” (source: social media account)

Changes in the G5 Sahel Coalition

Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso were previously members of the G5 Sahel coalition, a joint force backed by France. This coalition, which also included Chad and Mauritania, was established in 2017 to combat terrorist groups in the region. However, Mali has since withdrawn from the organization following a military coup, and former Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum declared the coalition “dead” after Mali’s departure in May last year.

Tensions with France

Relations between France and the three countries have become tense following the coups. France was compelled to withdraw its forces from Mali and Burkina Faso, and it is now in a standoff with the military junta that took control in Niger. France has been asked to withdraw its forces and ambassador, but it refuses to recognize the authority of the military junta.

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