Sahel States Led by Juntas Unite to Establish Joint Force Against Insurgents

The armed forces chief of Niger, Moussa Salaou Barmou, announced on Wednesday that Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali, led by juntas, have agreed to establish a collaborative force to address security threats across their territories. This decision marks a further step in their growing alignment since severing military ties with longstanding allies, including France, and forming the Alliance of Sahel States (AES) cooperation pact.

Barmou, in a televised statement, declared the swift operational readiness of the new task force to confront security challenges. However, specific details regarding the force’s size and scope were not disclosed.

The heightened violence in the central Sahel region, plagued by a decade-long struggle against Islamist groups affiliated with Al Qaeda and Islamic State, has escalated since the military coups in the three countries from 2020 to 2023. The conflict reached a peak in 2023, with a 38% increase in conflict fatalities in the central Sahel compared to the previous year. Reports from the U.S.-based crisis-monitoring group ACLED indicated that over 8,000 people were killed in Burkina Faso alone in the preceding year. people killed in Burkina Faso alone last year.

About Geraldine Boechat 2711 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia