Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso will Form a United force to Combat Jihadists

Three West African nations led by military governments have announced plans to establish a united military force to combat extremist threats.

Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso have revealed the establishment of the force after discussions in the Nigerien capital Niamey.

Niger’s military leader, Moussa Salaou Barmou, stated that it will be ready for action soon, but did not provide specifics on its scale.

Organisations associated with both Islamic State and al-Qaeda have caused the deaths of numerous individuals in the area over the last year.

Recently, the military regimes in the three countries have formed a strong alliance.

In September of last year, a mutual defence pact was established called the Alliance of Sahel States (AES). This pact involved withdrawing from the international force, G5, which was created to combat Islamists in the area.

Violence in the Sahel region of West Africa has escalated in recent years, despite the assurances from military governments to address the ongoing conflict with jihadist groups.

All three nations have cut off their connections with France, the previous colonial ruler, that had a significant military influence in the Sahel region for a long time.

An UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, Minusma, which had been in operation for more than ten years, was instructed by the country’s leaders to withdraw “without delay” and finished the exit in December.

The military regimes have enhanced their connections with Russia, which has stepped in to fill the void.

They have also revealed their decision to exit the West African economic bloc Ecowas.

They were previously suspended from the bloc for not adhering to democratic principles, leading to the imposition of travel and economic sanctions.

Some sanctions were recently lifted or eased as Ecowas advocated for dialogue.

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