Leaders of Mali, Burkina Faso & Niger Sign Charter Establishing Alliance of Sahel States
17:53 16.09.2023 (Updated: 17:13 18.09.2023)
© Photo Twitter / @GoitaAssimiMali's interim president, Assimi Goita, signs the Liptako-Gourma Charter with the leaders of Burkina Faso and Niger, establishing the Alliance of Sahel States (AES) on September 16, 2023, with the aim of creating an architecture of collective defense.
© Photo Twitter / @GoitaAssimi
Last month, Niger's military leaders, who seized power in a military coup on July 26, formed a military alliance with neighboring Burkina Faso and Mali. The agreement allows Mali and Burkina Faso to provide military support to Niger in the event of a military intervention against the West African nation.
The leaders of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger have signed a charter establishing an Alliance of Sahel States to "create a collective defense architecture," said Mali's transitional president Colonel Assimi Goita.
"I have signed today with the leaders of Burkina Faso and Niger the Liptako Gourma Charter, establishing the Alliance of Sahel States to create an architecture of collective defense and mutual assistance for the benefit of our people," Goita said.
An attack on the sovereignty or territorial integrity of one or more parties to the charter will be regarded as aggression against the other parties and will require their assistance, including the use of military force, the document read.
The parties also commit to fighting terrorism and organized crime on the territory of Sahel states, the charter added.
The development comes after the three neighboring countries signed a military pact in August allowing Mali and Burkina Faso to send troops into Niger's territory in the event of military aggression against its leadership.
The agreement also called for the three nations to take joint action against terrorist groups operating in their countries and to secure their borders. For more than a decade, Africa's Sahel region, which includes countries such as Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Nigeria, has been severely destabilized by jihadist insurgencies and banditry, largely perpetrated by terrorist networks linked to Daesh* and Al-Qaeda*.
Earlier this month, media reported, citing a military source, that Burkina Faso's armed forces arrived in Niger for counterterrorism training.
In late July, the Niger military announced on national television that President Mohamed Bazoum had been deposed, the borders closed, and a curfew imposed. The commander of the presidential guard, General Abdourahmane Tchiani, appeared on Niger state television as the head of the National Council for the Defense of the Homeland, formed by the coup participants.
Following the coup, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) activated a standby force and threatened intervention if the democratically elected president, Mohamed Bazoum, was not reinstated and constitutional order was not restored.
Against this backdrop, other West African military-ruled countries, namely Mali and Burkina Faso, expressed solidarity with Niger's military leadership, opposed the ECOWAS invasion plan and pledged their support to the nation.
* Daesh and al-Qaeda are terrorist organizations banned in Russia and many other countries around the world.