Sahel Security Pact Signed by Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger (ECOWAS, Nigeria, and Islamists)
Kanako Mita, Noriko Watanabe, and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Military coups in the Sahel and Lake Chad region entailed recent ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) bellicose statements – notably emanating from Nigeria. However, ECOWAS threats against Niger have backfired dramatically.
This is witnessed by Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger signing the Alliance of Sahel States.
The charter signed states, “Any attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of one or more contracted parties will be considered an aggression against the other parties.”
The coup in Niger (late July) entailed the regional bloc of ECOWAS making threatening statements – after the declaration of a new military government. Nigeria was especially vocal. This is ironic because Islamic terrorism spread from Nigeria to regional nations in the Lake Chad region. Also, endless massacres in Nigeria against Christians aren’t being addressed by Nigeria. Therefore, the nations of the Sahel don’t need a lecture from Nigeria – known for ethnic massacres, religious massacres, corruption, terrorism, criminality, and enabling Boko Haram Islamists to spread terrorism to regional nations.
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 forth.
The interim President of Mali, Assimi Goita, said, “I have today signed with the Heads of State of Burkina Faso and Niger the Liptako-Gourma charter establishing the Alliance of Sahel States, with the aim of establishing a collective defense and mutual assistance framework.”
All three nations are blighted by Islamic terrorist insurgent groups that are affiliated with ISIS (Islamic State – IS) or Al-Qaeda (Al-Qaida). Regional Islamist and ethnic dynamics are also at play that often overlap.
Accordingly, regional nations opposed to France, ECOWAS, and statements emanating from Nigeria are shoring each other up by the signing of the Alliance of Sahel States.
The international community and external forces in France, Nigeria, and ECOWAS – all need to listen to the current leaders of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger. After all, all three face Islamic insurgent groups, the threat of becoming failed states, criminality, grinding poverty, corruption – and nations like France meddling in their internal affairs.
It is hoped that ECOWAS will seek accommodation with the Alliance of Sahel States and eventually work together.
If not, the new alliance will support each other against negative external forces – irrespective of the current ill will of ECOWAS, Islamic insurgencies, France, or Nigeria.
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