Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso military leaders establish security alliance

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The military leaders of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger on Saturday signed a mutual defence pact, ministerial delegations from the three Sahel countries announced in Mali's capital Bamako.

The Liptako-Gourma Charter establishes the Alliance of Sahel States (AES), Mali's junta leader Assimi Goita posted on X, the social network formerly known as Twitter.

Its aim is to "establish an architecture of collective defence and mutual assistance for the benefit of our populations", he wrote.

The Liptako-Gourma region -- where the Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger borders meet -- has been ravaged by jihadism in recent years.

"This alliance will be a combination of military and economic efforts between the three countries", Mali's Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop told journalists.

"Our priority is the fight against terrorism in the three countries."

A jihadist insurgency that erupted in northern Mali in 2012 spread to Niger and Burkina Faso in 2015.

All three countries have undergone coups since 2020, most recently Niger, where soldiers in July overthrew President Mohamed Bazoum.


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