Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger to Jointly Counter Islamic Terrorism

Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger to Jointly Counter Islamic Terrorism

Kanako Mita, Noriko Watanabe, and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The nations of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger signed the Alliance of Sahel States last year. This formation developed rapidly after bellicose statements by ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States).

Nigeria is the regional power in ECOWAS. However, Nigeria is blighted by ethnic massacres, religious massacres, and rampant corruption. Indeed, Islamic terrorist forces from this nation spread to parts of Lake Chad.

Accordingly, strong statements by Nigeria against the nations of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger backfired.

The Alliance of Sahel States charter says, “Any attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of one or more contracted parties will be considered an aggression against the other parties.”

Naturally, all three nations are intent on strengthening the fight against Islamic terrorist forces, criminality, and forces that are weakening these three nations. Hence, cementing events from last year, all three nations recently announced a joint counterterrorism force to counter instability.

Islamic terrorist groups utilize border areas to form tacit safe-havens. Accordingly, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger seek to counter this weakness – and other essential areas in their collective fight against Islamic terrorism.

Sunni Islamic terrorist groups utilize Libya (North Africa) and Nigeria (West Africa) to spread regional mayhem throughout the Sahel and Lake Chad region. This concerns criminal activity, terrorist networks, weapons, the spreading of Islamist Takfiri ideology, and so on.

Economic support from Western nations is currently suspended. Ironically, Nigeria continues to get support despite enormous corruption and over 50,000 Christians being killed in the last decade.

The BBC reports, “The three countries have all severed their ties with France, the former colonial power, which for years had a strong military presence across the Sahel.”

Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger need to strengthen intelligence areas, the utilization of drones, and counterinsurgency areas in their collective fight against Islamic terrorism.

It is incumbent on America, ECOWAS, the European Union, and G7 nations to work with Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger economically and in the supply of military weapons. This must be based on listening to these nations and supporting their needs in their fight against terrorism and instability.

Economic sanctions and military disengagement will only assist Islamic terrorist forces throughout the Sahel region. Also, economic angles will lead to further poverty and mass immigration for people who are desperate for work.

If America, ECOWAS, the European Union, and G7 disengage from the Sahel region – this geopolitical vacuum will be utilized by China, Iran, the Russian Federation, and Turkey.

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