The terrorist groups, and drugs and arms traffickers exploit the Sahel region’s vast open land, instability, weak central governments, poor governance, corruption and porous borders to operate transnationally with few restraints.
To counter this threat, the Group of Five Sahel countries (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger), also known as the G-5 Sahel, look forward to benefiting from Moroccan experience in the field of the fight against terrorism, extremism and jihadist groups which threaten the peace and stability of this region, one of the most volatile and impoverished in the world.
To this end, Maman Sambo Sidikou, Permanent Secretary of the G-5 Sahel visited this week Morocco wherein he had talks separately with Minister-Delegate for National Defense Abdeltif Loudiyi and Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita.
“Morocco has always supported the Sahel countries,” said Mr. Maman Sambo Sidikou, noting that several military and security officers of the G-5 Sahel are currently being trained in the North African Kingdom.
The Sahel countries are facing dangerous, heavily armed terrorist groups, he said, stressing the need to build strong and efficient South-South defense cooperation to defeat radical groups, gangs and dealers expanding in the region.
Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger, with the help of France, set up the G-5 Sahel to foster close cooperation in the region and tackle the major challenges that these countries face.
The Sahel region faces a number of pressing challenges such as extreme poverty, frequent food and nutrition crises, conflict, irregular migration and related crimes such as human trafficking and migrant smuggling. Violent extremism also poses a serious security challenge to the region and has potential spillover effects outside the region, including Europe.