Niger: “Tarhanakale” military exercise, a possible joint force in 05 in sight?

The Nigerien Ministry of Defense announced on Sunday, May 26, 2024, the commencement of a large-scale national military exercise on Nigerien territory, involving the armed forces of five neighboring and allied countries.

These include military personnel from AES countries, as well as Chad and Togo.

This military exercise, which began on Monday, May 20, will last for more than two weeks, specifically seventeen days, ending on June 3.

Aimed at enhancing soldiers’ operational capabilities and regional military cooperation against terrorist groups, this exercise is named Tarhanakale, meaning “Love of the Homeland” in Tamajek, a national language of Niger.

At the Special Forces Training Center in Tillia, located in the Tahoua region in western Niger near the Malian border, these soldiers are training in joint tactical maneuvers, special operations simulations, and civil-military cooperation actions designed to strengthen ties between the soldiers and local populations.

It should be noted that these five countries—Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Chad, and Togo—are all facing varying degrees of terrorist threats.

They are also connected through regional military cooperation. However, analysts suggest that it would be beneficial for these countries, sharing borders and facing similar security challenges, to combine their forces to effectively address these threats.

Joint military operations among these countries will help overcome borders and barriers in the pursuit of criminals who threaten peace, security, and stability in this region of Africa.

As the President of Burkina Faso, Captain Ibrahim Traoré, once stated, the borders established by colonial powers hinder effective counterterrorism efforts.

Similarly, Togolese President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé believes that effective counterterrorism can only be achieved through strong interstate cooperation.

He argues that African countries, particularly those in West Africa facing terrorism, should forge robust military cooperation relationships.



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