Head of the G5 Sahel force Mahamadou Issoufou says, the G5 Sahel countries will not fall into the traps of terrorists,adding they will enforce their capabilities to defeat them.
The Nigerien President visited Burkina Faso’s capital on Monday to commensurate with Burkinabes after a twin attack on Ougadougou last Friday.
Issoufou said that “the terrorists” often describe the French as foreign troops but that Sahel G5 countries would not “fall in the trap” and will continue to maintain a strong alliance with France.
“I would like to take this opportunity to send a thought to our allies, who are paying a heavy price in this battle which we are now fighting side by side against terrorism and in particular amongst our French allies, whose embassy was attacked. We know that terrorists and their accomplices seek to undo our alliance. We often hear them say of our allies that they are foreign troops. For us they are not foreign troops, they are allied troops that are fighting for the same cause as we are. Therefore we will not fall into the trap set by these terrorists and their accomplices who present the allied contribution as a foreign force in our countries. We will therefore re-enforce our capabilities with our allies, our operational capabilities, our information capabilities and I am sure that with this sharing we will not only defeat terrorism militarily but also we will create conditions for the economic and social development of the countries of the Sahel. That is why we put in place the G5 Sahel joint force which is working closely with Burkina Faso and collaborates with MINUSMA (United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali)”, Issoufou said.
Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe who was part of the delegation ,praised security forces for their prompt response.
“A hit on Burkina, a hit on Ouagadougou is a hit on all of us. We have come to congratulate the security forces for their rapid and efficient response which certainly limited the damage because, following our visit to the army headquarters of Burkina Faso and the French embassy, it is clear that the intentions of these two groups was to achieve the maximum number of victims”, Gnassingbe said.
President of Burkina Faso, Marc Roch Christian Kabore said his people are in good spirit despite the attack.
“The fight against terrorism, as I said it before, is a long one and in this combat no sacrifice will be too high in the defense of our fatherland. It is true the recent events shook the Burkinabe people. But I assure you that the Burkinabe people will remain standing and that we will end terrorism no matter what the sacrifices we must make”,Kabore said..
The G5 Sahel force is made up of troops from Mali, Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso and Mauritania.
A Mali-based al Qaeda affiliate on Saturday March 3 claimed responsibility for the attacks in neighbouring Burkina Faso that left 16 people dead and 50 wounded.