Tag Archives | G5 Sahel

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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The Joint Force of the G5 Sahel: An Appropriate Response to Combat Terrorism?

Introduction The Joint Force of the Group of Five of the Sahel (Force Conjointe du G5 Sahel or FC-G5S) is the latest initiative by African member states to reduce the threat of terrorism in the Sahel, a region that is often framed as an arc of instability. The FC-G5S – which includes Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mauritania and Chad – was authorised by the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) on 13 April 2017 for a 12-month period, and was later – on 20 June 2017 – welcomed by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). It was reauthorised by the AU PSC for a 12-month period on 12 April 2018. This article focuses on the security pillar of the G5 Sahel, by examining the FC-G5S mandate to combat terrorism in the Sahel. After a brief background, the article provides an overview of the main jihadist protagonists in the Sahel, demonstrating that some of these groups emerge and thrive, due to distinctly local, societal problems, and should not only be viewed through the prism of terrorism. The article then examines the FC-G5S counterterrorism (CT) strategy and the conceptualisation and configuration of the force itself, and argues that currently there is a […]

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