West African Military Leaders Forge Alliance to Counter Jihadist Violence and Secure Economic Ties

The leaders of military governments in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger are set to meet for the first time to solidify their alliance as the Alliance of Sahel States in response to jihadist violence in the region. The meeting, hosted by Niger’s coup leader, Gen Abdourahmane Tchiani, aims to establish closer security cooperation among the three countries, with a focus on creating economic ties and a common currency. The alliance’s rejection of the French-backed CFA Franc and the expulsion of French soldiers in favor of Russian military assistance underscore a push for greater sovereignty and a break from former colonial powers. Resistance to calls for a rapid return to civilian rule from Ecowas further showcases the junta leaders’ commitment to asserting their independence. The three leaders’ decision to come together without interference from foreign powers has been met with enthusiasm from supporters, symbolizing a new era of collaboration and development in the region. As the Sahel region faces increasing threats from Islamic State militant activity, the formation of the AES signals a united front to combat insecurity and instability. Stay updated on African news and developments by visiting BBCAfrica.com and following BBC Africa on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.