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Mauritania and Chad pave the way for the dissolution of the G5 Sahel anti-jihadist alliance

A Mauritanian soldiers stand guard at a G5 Sahel task force command post, ....   -  
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THOMAS SAMSON/AFP or licensors


Mauritania and Chad have paved the way for a dissolution of the G5 Sahel alliance created in 2014 to tackle jihadism and other challenges in the sub-region, following the withdrawal of the other three members, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger.

Mauritania and Chad "take note of and respect the sovereign decision" of Burkina Faso and Niger to withdraw, following the earlier announcement of Mali's withdrawal, the two countries say.

They "(will) implement all necessary measures in accordance with the provisions of the Convention establishing the G5 Sahel, in particular, article 20", they say in a statement published Wednesday morning by the Mauritanian news agency, and also forwarded to AFP by the Chadian government.

Article 20 of the Convention states that "the G5 Sahel can be dissolved at the request of at least three member states".

In the communiqué announcing their country's withdrawal on Saturday, the military regimes now in power in Burkina Faso and Niger did not expressly request the dissolution of the G5 Sahel.

But the fate of this alliance, which was in a bad way even before the Malian junta announced its withdrawal in 2022, appeared to be sealed.

The member countries had set up a joint military force in 2017, but its effectiveness remained very limited.

The violence continued to spread, leaving thousands of civilians and combatants dead and millions displaced. It has strongly contributed to political instability and a succession of coups de force.

- Infantilizing partnership" -

Since the creation of the G5 Sahel, the sub-region has seen the military take power by force in Mali in 2020, Burkina Faso in 2022 and Niger in 2023.

Hammering home sovereignist rhetoric, they have distanced themselves in great acrimony from the former dominant power, France, a supporter of the G5 Sahel, and its European partners.

They have set up their own alliance in 2023, and their foreign ministers have just proposed the creation of a confederation.

Burkina Faso and Niger announced on Saturday that they had decided "in full sovereignty" to withdraw "from all G5 Sahel bodies, including the Joint Force". This decision took effect on November 29, they said in a joint communiqué.

According to Ouagadougou and Niamey, "the organization is struggling to achieve its objectives" and is undermined by "institutional red tape and old-fashioned constraints".

They refused to "serve foreign interests to the detriment of those of the peoples of the Sahel, still less to accept the diktat of any power in the name of a misguided and infantilizing partnership that denies the right to sovereignty of our peoples and our States".

Mali left the G5 Sahel in 2022, calling the organization "instrumentalized by the outside world". France is usually the target of such accusations.

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