Africa’s new alliance in the making? — Burkina, Guinea, Mali junta regimes hold talks
Foreign ministers from three west African nations ruled by military regimes — namely Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso — all of whom came to power following coups, met in Burkinabé capital Ouagadougou on Thursday, February 9 on the heels of a trip to the region by Russian envoy Sergei Lavrov.
The meeting comes only days after Burkina Faso’s Prime Minister, in a visit to neighboring Mali early February, suggested the two countries form a “federation” to boost their economic clout. The two Sahel neighbors are battling jihadist insurgencies, as well as international sanctions after military coups toppled civilian governments and are run by juntas who have turned away from France, the former colonial ruler. The talks brought together the trio — Abdoulaye Diop of Mali, Morissanda Kouyate of Guinea and Burkina’s Olivia Rouamba — two days after the Russian foreign minister visited Mali, promising his help “to the Sahel-Saharan region and even to the countries bordering the Gulf of Guinea”.
The military regime in Mali led by Captain Ibrahim Traoré has recently expressed its desire to diversify their partnerships. “We really want to look at other horizons, because we want win-win partnerships,” Traore said last week, adding, “If we can’t afford to buy military equipment in one country, we’ll go to other countries to buy it. “This is the first time that I have been in Burkina Faso since the struggle of the Burkinabe people, which led to a correction enabling the recovery of sovereignty and territorial integrity in this brother country,” Diop said during the talks in Ouagadougou. Kouyate of Guinea said the three would “make a statement to regional organizations for the demands and requests of our people to be heard clearly through our governments and leaders.” The Sahel has been plagued by instability fueled by jihadist violence despite the deployment of international forces has made the bed of Russian presence.