17, September 2023
The military leaders of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger on Saturday signed a mutual defence pact, ministerial delegations from the three Sahel countries announced in Mali’s capital Bamako.
Its aim is to “establish an architecture of collective defence and mutual assistance for the benefit of our populations”, he wrote.
The Liptako-Gourma region — where the Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger borders meet — has been ravaged by jihadism in recent years.
“This alliance will be a combination of military and economic efforts between the three countries”, Mali’s Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop told journalists.
“Our priority is the fight against terrorism in the three countries.”
A jihadist insurgency that erupted in northern Mali in 2012 spread to Niger and Burkina Faso in 2015.
Mutual defence pact
The charter signed on Saturday binds the signatories to assist one another — including militarily — in the event of an attack on any one of them.
“Any attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of one or more contracting parties shall be considered as an aggression against the other parties and shall give rise to a duty of assistance… including the use of armed force to restore and ensure security”, it states.