Mali withdraws from the G5 Sahel and its anti-jihadist force

Mali continues to play the confrontation on the diplomatic level, including with its main African partners. Bamako announced Sunday evening its withdrawal from “all the organs and bodies of the G5 Sahel, including the Joint Force” anti-jihadist. The country is thus protesting against its refusal to assume the presidency of this regional organization formed with Mauritania, Chad, Burkina and Niger.

A conference of G5 Sahel Heads of State scheduled for February 2022 in Bamako was to “consecrate the start of the Malian presidency of the G5” but “nearly a quarter after the indicated term” this meeting “has still not been held “, says the Malian press release.

A State criticized by Bamako but not cited

Bamako “firmly rejects the argument of a member state of the G5 Sahel which advances the national internal political situation to oppose the exercise by Mali of the presidency of the G5 Sahel”, without however citing this State. According to the Malian government, “the opposition of certain G5 Sahel states to the presidency of Mali is linked to the maneuvers of an extra-regional state desperately aiming to isolate Mali”, without also specifying the latter state.

Relations between Mali and European countries, starting with France, have deteriorated significantly in recent months. Since January 9, the country has been targeted by a series of economic and diplomatic measures by West African states to sanction the junta’s intention to stay in power for several more years, after two putschs in August 2020 and then in May 2021. junta has opted for a two-year transition while the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is asking Bamako to organize elections in 16 months maximum.

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The military coups in Mali and Burkina Faso, two of the five members of the Multilateral Anti-Jihadist Force G5 Sahel, are undermining its operational capacity, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also recently estimated in a report submitted on May 11 to the Security Council. “I am deeply concerned about the rapidly deteriorating security situation in the Sahel, as well as the potentially adverse effect that the uncertain political situation in Mali, Burkina Faso and beyond will have on efforts to make the Force more operational. joint G5 Sahel”, he said in this document.

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