Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

Niger’s top military chief said the joint force would be ‘operational as soon as possible to meet the security challenges in our area’.

A joint security force announced by the juntas ruling Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso to fight the worsening extremist violence in their Sahel region countries faces a number of challenges that cast doubt on its effectiveness, analysts have said.

Niger’s top military chief, Brigadier General Moussa Salaou Barmou said in a statement after meeting with counterparts on Wednesday that the joint force would be “operational as soon as possible to meet the security challenges in our area”.

The announcement is the latest in a series of actions taken by the three countries to strike a more independent path away from regional and international allies since the region experienced a string of coups — the most recent in Niger in July last year.

They have already formed a security alliance after severing military ties with neighbours and European nations such as France and turning to Russia — already present in parts of the Sahel — for support.

(The three regimes) have come to power through coups, they are likely facing a high risk of coups themselves, so it is hard to build a stable security framework when the foundation of each individual regime is shaky

James Barnett, Hudson Institute
Brig Gen Barmou did not give details about the operation of the force, which he referred to as an “operational concept that will enable us to achieve our defence and security objectives”.

Although the militaries had promised to end the insurgencies in their territories after deposing their respective elected governments, conflict analysts say the violence has instead worsened under their regimes. They all share borders in the conflict-hit Sahel region and their security forces fighting jihadi violence are overstretched.

The effectiveness of their security alliance would depend not just on their resources but on external support, Bedr Issa, an independent analyst who researches the conflict in the Sahel, said.

The three regimes were also “very fragile”, James Barnett, a researcher specialising in West Africa at the US-based Hudson Institute, said, raising doubts about their capacity to work together.

“They’ve come to power through coups, they are likely facing a high risk of coups themselves, so it is hard to build a stable security framework when the foundation of each individual regime is shaky,” Mr Barnett said.

By Joy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *