Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso forge security pact amid pressure

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Given the tremendous pressure on Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso to restore democratic administration, these nations have decided to form a security pact.

They have been isolated internationally as they are controlled by the military rulers.

West and Central Africa have seen a number of coups.

The three countries, currently ruled by military leaders, have signed a pact to protect each other in case of any uprising or external aggression.

Mali Foreign Affairs Minister Abdoulaye Diop says, “The contracting parties will work to prevent, manage and resolve any armed rebellion or other threat to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of each of the member countries of the alliance, giving priority to peaceful and diplomatic means and if necessary to use force to deal with situations of breakdown of peace and stability.”

Mali’s top diplomat says they will stand together as sovereign states.

Diop adds, “Any attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of one or more of the contracting parties will be considered as an aggression against the other parties and will entail a duty of assistance and relief on the part of all parties.”

The three countries are struggling to contain insurgents and their relations with neighbours and international partners have been strained because of the coups that brought their military leaders to power.

The latest coup in Niger, drove a wedge between the three countries and other members of the regional bloc, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), that has threatened to use force to restore constitutional rule.

Political Analyst Soji Apampa says, “It is not in anybody’s interest, certainly not in the interest of any African country in this bloc. So they don’t have a choice. now the junta has said that given it three years, all ECOWAS can now do is negotiate a shorter timeline.”

United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohamed says this is quite concerning.

“Well, for me, it’s a big wake up call to the social contract. You have democracies many of them are work in progress, it leaves people and country vulnerable and now you see coups being celebrated. Why are coups celebrated? We never celebrated coups before. And today, they are these models for democracy. The resources that are needed it’s about delivery on education and hope to have predictability. When that’s absent, that’s a problem.”

All three states were members of the France-supported G5 Sahel Alliance joint force with Chad and Mauritania to tackle terrorism in the region.

But diplomatic ties with France has soured since the coups.

Dr Emmanuel Matambo weighs in: