Three West African Sahel nations, Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso- all ruled by military juntas, on Saturday September 16, 2023, signed a security pact promising to come to the aid of each other in case of any rebellion or external aggression.
“I have today signed with the Heads of State of Burkina Faso and Niger the Liptako-Gourma charter establishing the Alliance of Sahel States, with the aim of establishing a collective defense and mutual assistance framework,” Reuters reported citing Mali junta leader Assimi Goita’s statements on his X social media account.
“Any attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of one or more contracted parties will be considered an aggression against the other parties,” according to the pact charter, known as the Alliance of Sahel States.
It said the other states will assist individually or collectively, including with the use of armed force.
France has been forced to withdraw its troops from Mali and Burkina Faso and is in a tense standoff with the junta that seized power in Niger after it asked it to withdraw its forces and its ambassador.
France has refused to recognize the authority of the junta.