On May 15, 2022, the military junta in Mali announced that it would no longer be part of the G5 Sahel platform. The G5 Sahel was created in Nouakchott, Mauritania, in 2014, and brought together the governments of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger to collaborate over the deteriorating security situation in the Sahel belt—the region just below the Sahara desert in Africa—and to increase trade among these countries. Behind the scenes, it was clear that the formation of the G5 Sahel was encouraged by the French government, and that, despite all the talk of trade, the real focus of the group was going to be security.
In early 2017, under French pressure, these G5 Sahel countries created the G5 Sahel Joint Force (FC-G5S), a military alliance to combat the security threat posed by the aftermath of the Algerian civil war (1991-2002) and the detritus of NATO’s 2011 war in Libya. The G5 Sahel Joint Force received the backing of the United Nations Security Council to conduct military operations in the region.
Mali’s military spokesperson Colonel Abdoulaye Maïga said on May 15 that his government had sent a letter on April 22 to General Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno—President of Chad’s transitional military council and the outgoing president of the G5 Sahel—informing him of Mali’s decision; the lack of movement in holding the conference of the G5 Sahel heads of state, which was supposed to take place in Mali in February, and handing over the rotating presidency of the FC-G5S to the country, forced Mali to take the action of leaving both the FC-G5S and the G5 Sahel platform, Colonel Maïga said on national television.
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