Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger have signed a mutual defence pact, as the three Sahel countries aim to help each other against possible threats of armed rebellion or external aggression.
The charter, known as the Alliance of Sahel States, signed on Saturday binds the signatories to assist one another – including militarily – in the event of an attack on any one of them.
“Any attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of one or more contracted parties will be considered an aggression against the other parties,” it says. It also binds the three countries to work to prevent or settle armed rebellions.
“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 defence and mutual assistance framework,” Mali military leader Assimi Goita said on his X social media account.
The Liptako-Gourma region – where the Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger borders meet – has been ravaged by armed rebellion in recent years.
“This alliance will be a combination of military and economic efforts between the three countries”, Mali’s Defence Minister Abdoulaye Diop told journalists in Bamako, the capital of Mali.