AES: Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger finalise their Confederation

The heads of diplomacy of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger met last week in Niamey. The aim of the meeting was to finalise plans for the creation of the Confederation of the Alliance of Sahel States (AES), an initiative that should shortly be adopted by the heads of state of the three countries.

Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, respectively under the good governance of Captain Ibrahim Traoré, Colonel Assimi Goïta and General Abdourahamane Tiani, have taken a crucial step in their quest for regional cooperation by finalising the founding text of the Confederation of the Alliance of Sahel States (AES) in Niamey, the capital of Niger.

This agreement, announced by several international media, symbolises a new dynamic for collaboration between these Sahelian nations, which often face common challenges.

Since breaking away from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and France, these three countries have been seeking to strengthen their autonomy and regional integration.

The heads of state, who will be meeting in the coming weeks to officially adopt the text, see the AES as a means of responding more effectively to the security and economic crises that are shaking the region.

At the meeting in Niamey on 17 May, Abdoulaye Diop (Mali), Karamoko Jean-Marie Traoré (Burkina Faso) and Bakary Yaou Sangaré (Niger) discussed how to implement the new AES.

Abdoulaye Diop (Mali), Karamoko Jean-Marie Traoré (Burkina Faso) and Bakary Yaou Sangaré (Niger) discussed the modalities for implementing this new entity.

Sangaré explained that the aim of the meeting was ‘to finalise the draft text relating to the institutionalisation and operationalisation of the Confederation of the Alliance of Sahel States’.

The draft text, details of which remain confidential, will be submitted to the heads of state for imminent adoption.

 Abdoulaye Diop expressed his satisfaction at the end of the meeting with General Abdourahamane Tiani, President of the National Council for the Safeguarding of the Homeland in Niger, saying: ‘We can very clearly consider today that the Confederation of the Alliance of Sahel States has been born.

The Confederation will cover the geographical area of Liptako-Gourma, a cross-border region rich in natural resources, shared by Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.

By joining forces, these countries hope not only to improve security in the area, which is often prey to attacks by armed groups, but also to stimulate economic development through concerted resource management.

It should be noted that the withdrawal of these three Sahelian countries from ECOWAS was seen as an act of emancipation and sovereignty from harmful outside influences, notably from France.

The authorities of the three countries have made it known that the sub-regional organisation is being exploited by Paris, which was the reason for their departure last January.

The AES thus represents an attempt to build a new form of cooperation, based on common interests and a shared vision of the future.


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