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Sahel military juntas unite in new confederation



Military leaders from Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger met on Saturday to formalize the creation of a new confederation, intended to promote “greater integration” between the three countries, “the latest demonstration of their distancing from traditional regional and Western allies”, observed Al-Jazeera.

At a summit in Niamey, “The three leaders signed a treaty” reinforcing “the mutual defense pact announced last year, the Alliance of Sahel States (AES)”adds the Qatari channel.

This first AES summit took place “on the eve of the ECOWAS summit in Nigeria, where the other heads of state of the region are to meet”, precise The Independent. “Analysts say the two meetings reflect deep divisions within ECOWAS, which has become the main political authority for its 15 member states.”before the decision “unprecedented” of the three military juntas to slam the door in January.

“Turn your back” on ECOWAS

The Abuja summit agenda will include the election of the new ECOWAS president, a position currently held by Nigerian head of state Bola Tinubu. But it appears that member countries are willing to “extend Tinubu’s mandate to give him time” to negotiate “the possible return of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso to the bloc”, believes the Nigerian site knows Punch.

He will not have an easy time of it. Because the military leader of Niger, General Abdourahamane Tchiani, assured Saturday, surrounded by his Malian and Burkinabe counterparts, that their three countries “now irrevocably turned their backs” to ECOWAS, raise the BBC.

Instead of the neighbouring organisation, he said he wanted to build with his partners a community of sovereign peoples, “Far from the control of foreign powers. A community of peace, solidarity, prosperity based on our African values”continues British radio and television.

According to Wakat Will Bethe President of Burkina Faso, Captain Ibrahim Traore, denounced for his part the “simulacra of independence granted to African states in the 1960s”followed by “plundering of natural resources and terrorism”specifying that “the deep meaning of revolt” of the three members of the AES was only intended to “to offer their respective States real independence, and their populations real development”.

Common currency project

There Deutsche Welle underlines that the three leaders “also discussed the Islamist insurgency in the Sahel region, which has been raging since 2014” And “promised to strengthen their cooperation to suppress the violence”.

“The AES is the only effective sub-regional grouping in the fight against terrorism”hammered General Tchiani, estimating that ECOWAS had “Shone by his lack of involvement in this fight”.

The German broadcaster recalls that “The trio left the G5 Sahel Joint Force, created to fight regional Islamist groups, in December, saying France was not providing enough support to anti-jihadist efforts.”. The three countries have since “started to favor partnerships with Russia and Iran”.

“Security cooperation figures prominently” of the AES mandate, confirms the BBCbut the alliance “will also seek closer economic ties, including with a view to creating a common currency. This would constitute a rejection of the French-backed CFA franc, used in many states in the region.”.

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