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New ECOWAS force may sideline G5 Sahel

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Significance

More than 486,000 have been displaced in the country amid escalating violence. The G5 Sahel alliance -- an ad hoc regional cooperation body comprising Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger -- has proven unable to curb jihadist violence in the region. Coastal countries such as Benin, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Togo now also feel under threat. So the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is developing a 1-billion-dollar, five-year security strategy for the whole region, set to be approved in December, which will include stronger cooperation and intelligence sharing between all states in the region.

Impacts

  • Extreme insecurity will further disrupt the public services and development programmes that already exist.
  • More donor support may be needed, and France and Germany are playing a key role in developing plans for this.
  • In the long term, the planned ECOWAS element of the African Standby Force initiative may assume some responsibilities.
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