Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso signed a security pact on Saturday providing for the three countries to provide mutual aid in the event of rebellion or external aggression.
The military regimes of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger signed a charter on Saturday September 16 establishing a defensive alliance, the ministerial delegations of the three countries announced in Bamako, capital of Mali.
This “Charter of Liptako-Gourma” creates “the Alliance of Sahel States” (AES), wrote on X (former Twitter), the head of the Mali junta, Assimi Goita. Its goal is “to establish an architecture of collective defense and mutual assistance,” he stressed.
The charter provides (art. 6) that “any attack on the sovereignty and integrity of the territory of one or more contracting parties will be considered as an aggression against the other parties and will engage a duty of assistance and relief of all parties, individually or collectively, including the use of armed force to restore and ensure security within the area covered by the Alliance.
Since the July 26 coup in Niger, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has maintained a consistent position: the military authorities must “restore constitutional order immediately” by releasing deposed President Mohamed. Bazoum and reinstalling him in his functions.
The West African organization has repeatedly threatened armed intervention and imposed heavy economic sanctions on Niger.
However, neighboring Burkina and Mali believe that a military operation against their country would be an “illegal and senseless aggression” and have promised an “immediate response” to any aggression.
“Our priority is the fight against terrorism”
“This alliance will be a combination of military and economic efforts between the three countries,” Malian Defense Minister Abdoulaye Diop told journalists.
“Our priority is the fight against terrorism in the three countries,” he added.
The Liptako-Gourma region – bordering Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger – has been ravaged by jihadism in recent years.
Neighboring Mali and Burkina, led by soldiers who came to power through coups in 2020 and 2022, quickly showed their solidarity with the generals in Niamey after the July 26 coup. The latter remain inflexible and have held deposed president Mohamed Bazoum prisoner since July 26, whom they intend to prosecute for “high treason”.
In Niger, around ten jihadist attacks have left more than a hundred dead, half of them civilians, since July 26.
Source: France 24