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Terrorism in the Sahel: AES force will be “operational as soon as possible”

The army chiefs of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso, three military regimes grouped within the Alliance of Sahel States (AES), met in Niamey on Mar. 6, 2024.   -  
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The three nations accounting for the majority of deaths from terrorism in the Sahel region announced a joint force that will be operational as soon as possible.

Niger's armed forces chief said in a statement Wednesday (Mar. 06) in Niamey that he had developed an "operational concept" with his Malian and Burkinabe counterparts.

“We have come up with a joint force of AES countries that will be operational as soon as possible to take over the security challenges in our area,” Barmou announced. 

The 3-member AES group also known as the Alliance of Sahel states includes the countries which are home to the tri-border zone. 

The zone covers parts of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger known as Liptako-Gourma where jihadist insurgents have been operating for years.

"We are convinced that with the combined efforts of our three countries, we will succeed in creating the conditions for shared security, an objective that is at the heart of the concerns of our States and our valiant peoples,” 

Barmou did not give details about the operation of the force.

The discussions in the Nigerien capital were the first official meeting of the bloc's chiefs of staff.

In February, defence and foreign affairs ministers from the three junta-led nations met in Burkina Faso's capital where they confirmed their withdrawal from regional bloc ECOWAS.