- Military juntas of Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso signed a security pact on Saturday that binds the three African countries to support each other against threats of armed rebellion or external aggression.1
- The Liptako-Gourma Charter — named after the Liptako-Gourma region where the Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso borders meet — establishes the Alliance of Sahel States, a combination of military and economic efforts to 'fight against terrorism in the three countries.'2
- The pact terms 'any attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of one or more contracted parties' as an aggression against the other parties, which can come to the aid either individually or collectively, including by armed force.3
- This comes after repeated warnings from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) — of which the three countries are members — the African Union and the West to avoid Sahelian alliances that would erode the influence of these three bodies.4
- The three landlocked Sahel countries struggle to fight Al Qaeda and the Islamic State group militants and the prospect of a military intervention from the ECOWAS to reverse the recent coup in Niger.5
- Meanwhile, Mali recently saw renewed clashes between government troops and predominantly Tuareg secessionist armed groups in addition to fighting Al-Qaeda-linked jihadists after Bamako called on French troops and the UN mission to leave the country.2
- Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by The conversation. This dangerous pact is a reaction to the West's ongoing plunder of the continent's natural resources and the ECOWAS' intrusive plan to use force to 'restore constitutional rule' in Niger. Both France and the US are responsible for creating significant divisions and heightening regional tensions. All of this could soon cause a full-blown war in the Sahel region.
- Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Al Jazeera. It would be foolish to call this pact an act of anti-imperialist resistance, as the powerful and privileged high-ranking army officers have toppled democratically-elected governments to serve their interests. If allowed to go unabated, they will forcefully suppress the voice of the people they claim to represent when it fits their agenda.