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Former French colonies create military alliance — RT Africa

The military governments of three African states, all of which have deposed their Western-backed leaders in recent years, have agreed to assist each other, individually or collectively, in the event of external aggression or internal threat to their sovereignty.

“Any attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of one or more contracting parties will be considered as aggression against the other parties,” according to the pact’s charter, cited by Reuters.

Mali’s interim president, Assimi Goita, said Saturday evening that he had signed the agreement with the leaders of Burkina Faso and Niger. “with the aim of establishing a framework of collective defense and mutual assistance”.

The new Alliance of Sahel States includes three countries that were members of the Paris-backed G5 Sahel pact with Chad and Mauritania, which collapsed following a series of military coups.

The Minister of Defense of Mali, Abdoulaye Diop, explained that “The alliance will be a combination of military and economic efforts between the three countries” with a priority on the fight against terrorism, particularly in the Liptako-Gourma region where the borders of the three countries meet.

Mali and Burkina Faso have previously declared that any attack on Niger would be a “declaration of war” against them as well, after several of Niger’s neighbors from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) threatened to send troops to restore deposed President Mohamed Bazoum.

Paris was forced to withdraw its troops from Mali following tensions with the military government in 2020. Earlier this year, it also withdrew from Burkina Faso after the country’s military rulers ordered them to leave.

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Niger’s coup leaders also canceled military agreements that allowed French forces to fight jihadists in the Sahel region, giving the former colonial power just a month to withdraw its 1,500 troops. France, however, ignored the ultimatum and demanded the departure of its ambassador, as it refused to recognize the authority of the new leaders.

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