West African junta leaders holding joint summit – DW – 07/06/2024

Niger on Saturday is internet hosting the army leaders of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger — the primary gathering of its variety since army coups in all three nations ousted their civilian-led governments.

The assembly is being held on the eve of the Financial Group of West African States (ECOWAS) summit in Nigeria.

The three juntas left the bloc in January accusing it of being manipulated by former colonial ruler France and has shifted away from Western allies, favoring partnerships with Russia and Iran.

What’s on the agenda on the talks?

Statements on public radio earlier within the week acknowledged that Saturday’s talks can be the primary assembly of the Alliance of Sahel States (AES) that was arrange in September.

Niger’s Junta chief Abdourahamane Tiani obtained Ibrahim Traore of Burkina Faso on Friday, whereas Mali’s Assimi Goita arrives on Saturday morning.

Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger signal protection pact

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The Burkinabe presidency stated “the struggle in opposition to terrorism” and the “consolidation of cooperation” can be on Saturday’s agenda, contemplating the lethal jihadist violence the three nations face.

The trio give up the G5 Sahel Joint Pressure, established to struggle Islamist teams within the Sahel area, in December.

The area has been within the grip of jihadist violence since 2014 which has triggered a humanitarian disaster, leaving greater than 24 million individuals requiring help.

Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum was deposed in July 2023, and the junta stated it will take three years to return to civilian rule.

In Mali’s case, civilian rule was final in place earlier than the primary of two coups, in August 2020.

Burkina Faso’s elected authorities was ousted in 2022. The nation has not been put beneath sanctions and its present ruler, Captain Ibrahim Traore has allowed elections to happen this summer time.

US pulling troops from Niger base

The US in the meantime, will this weekend, take away all forces and tools from a small base in Niger, whereas fewer than 500 remaining troops will go away an essential drone base in August, forward of a September 15 deadline.

The drone base has been an essential ingredient of operations coping with counterterrorism missions within the Sahel, concentrating on teams linked to al-Qaida and the so-called Islamic State.

Niger’s ruling junta broke off its army cooperation settlement with the USA in March and has been forging nearer ties with Russia.

Niger: US army operations throughout the Sahel are in danger

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kb/rc (AP, AFP)

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