Niger, Mali to set up Inter-Governmental Security Committee

Niger and Mali, two terrorism-stricken nations, have agreed to set up an inter-governmental cross-border security committee to pool efforts to fight the terrorism scourge.

 

The decision was made Tuesday at talks in Bamako between Malian president Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, and visiting President of Niger Issoufou Mahamadou.

The purpose of setting up the committee is to better fight terrorism, the two heads of state said, vowing to end insecurity and terrorism in the region.

According to the two heads of state, the eradication of terrorism in the Sahel-Saharan region requires the strengthening of bilateral and multilateral mechanisms.

The two presidents are counting heavily on the extraordinary ECOWAS summit, scheduled for September 14 in Ouagadougou, to set up new measures favoring enhanced cooperation between states but also greater support from the international community.

The committee will consist of the ministers in charge of defense, security, foreign affairs, justice, finance, as well as representatives of the national security councils.

A vast transition zone between Africa’s Saharan north and savanna south, the Sahel Region, holds a toxic stew of Al Qaeda- and Islamic State-affiliated groups that are expanding their operations and becoming deadlier, even as communal violence surges.

There are already approximately 4,000 French troops stationed in Mali, and more than 800 German soldiers operating as part of a United Nations force of over 15,000 military and police personnel.

After more than six years, the war in Mali has led to the deaths of at least 6,000 people. It has caused a refugee crisis, with tens of thousands of people forced to flee their homes.

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