West Africa Update

  • Mali

EU foreign policy chief warns Mali against Russian mercenary deal – Read article on Reuters

Mali : les discussions avec le groupe russe Wagner sont “un moyen de pression pour prolonger la transition” – Read article on TV5 Monde

Le Mali ne digère pas les critiques du Niger – Read article on DW

Mali must consider its options to “bolster our national defence”, says Prime Minister – Read article on Africa News

Mali: à Niono, la dégradation de la situation sécuritaire inquiète – Read article on Sahelien.com

French defence minister in Sahel amid speculation Mali may hire Russian mercenaries – Read article on RFI

  • Sahel

France In The Sahel Is A Policeman Trying To Escape From Prison – by Michel Goya / Read article on Hoover Institution

The Sahelian Matrix of Political Violence – by Heni Nsaibia, Clionadh Raleigh / Read article on Hoover Institution

  • Niger

Niger, le nouveau « hub militaire » français au Sahel – Read article on aniamey.com

  • Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso : le président Kaboré se félicite de la mort du chef de l’EIGS – Read article on Africanews.com

  • Benin

“No Place to Go”: The Demolition of Benin’s Fishing Settlements – Read article on EA Worldview

Diverging positions and demands regarding insecurity and political violence on the African continent

The Associated Press on the Washington Post website discusses the recent U.N. Security Council’s strongly condemnation of increasing levels of terrorism on the African continent. A Chinese-sponsored presidential statement approved by the 15 members urged the 193 UN member states to take measures to address drivers of violent extremism conducive to terrorism and to consider mobilising more predictable resources and expertise. Recommendations included fostering quality education and provision employment opportunities and vocational training for young people and inclusion them in all levels of decision-making to combat recruitment.

The African Union’s U.N. ambassador, Fatima Kyari Mohammed warned about the increasing level of sophistication and use of “drone terrorism”. A statement from Tunisia, Niger and South Africa mentioned that “foreigners who fought with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria are increasingly relocating into the continent mainly to areas where government presence is weak”. Additionally, the statement argued that some al-Qaida and IS groups “appear to be working together and coordinating attacks to grab large swaths of territory.”

The statements reiterated the need to support for the G5 Sahel Force established by Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Chad and Mauritania to fight terrorism.

However, according to Reuters, Al Qaeda-linked militants have said they will only attend peace talks with Mali’s government if it expels French and United Nations forces.

The Malian government, which has been proposing talks in recent weeks to try and end an insurgency that has spread violence across the West African state and its neighbours, has also repeatedly said they want French forces to stay, and France has promised to boost its military presence in the Sahel region. The violence is increasing, despite more than 11,000 U.N. peacekeepers in Mali and around 5,000 French troops across the region

 Sorina Toltica, South Coast DTP PhD researcher