Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso announce the formation of a joint military force

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The commanders of the armies of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso announced on Wednesday the formation of a joint force to fight armed groups that have been launching attacks in different regions of the three countries and on their common borders for years.

A joint statement issued after a meeting of the commanders of the armies of the three countries under the banner of the “Coalition of Sahel States” explained that the joint force announced for its establishment will begin activity as soon as possible, to deal with the security challenges in the region.

Chief of Staff of the Niger Armed Forces, General Musa Salah Bermo, whose country hosted the meeting, said the countries’ leaders “are convinced that through the joint efforts of the three countries, success will be achieved in creating conditions for common security”.

The military official stressed that the three armies were able to “develop an operational concept…that will make it possible to achieve goals in terms of defense and security” in the vast territories of the three countries.

Niger and Burkina Faso announced their withdrawal from the G5 Sahel in December 2023, and before that, Mali announced its withdrawal from it in May 2022.

The three countries established the “Coalition of Sahel States” after signing the “Liptago-Gourma Charter” on September 16, 2023 in the capital, Bamako.

At the end of January 2024, the three countries also announced their withdrawal from the Economic Community of West African States, which was imposing economic and trade sanctions on these countries following the military coups they witnessed.

ECOWAS eased its sanctions on Niger, Mali, and Guinea-Conakry, maintained the suspension of its membership, and called on the withdrawing countries to engage in dialogue and reverse their decision.

Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso are ruled by military regimes following a series of successive coups since 2020.

These countries also participate in expelling French forces from their territories and rapprochement with new partners, most notably Russia.

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