Archive | January, 2019

The G5 Sahel Force, Failing the Region and Failing Itself

BAMAKO, Mali — The G5 Sahel Force was conceived to enable greater coordination among five countries in the Sahel region of West Africa in fighting jihadist groups and to strengthen regional administration and development while relieving the United Nations mission in Mali of those burdens. Yet ever since the group — Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger — launched its military operations in July 2017, it has been defined more by what it lacks than by its actions. A damning report by the United Nations Secretary-General published earlier this year and highlighted in November by the Security Council, said that the force has been hampered by a lack of funding, a devastating attack that killed five people and destroyed most of its military headquarters in Mali in July and a bias toward military solutions. So, is the G5 Sahel Force, a French-led initiative backed by the UN but resisted financially by the United States, going to survive? The grouping makes sense in that the modern-day borders of Sahelian countries were inherited from colonialism and often divide single communities among different nation-states. So far, the force’s units number 3,500 soldiers (from a target of 10,000) and have deployed on the border between Mauritania and Mali; the […]

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