G5 Sahel calls for international support
The five presidents from G5 Sahel countries met on 6 February in Niamey, Niger at the 4th ordinary session of the Heads of State Conference. Discussions focused on ensuring sustainable funding for the recently launched G5 Sahel Joint Force, which is in charge of combating terrorism, drug and human trafficking; re-establishing state authority; facilitating humanitarian operations; and contributing to development actions. “Given the pressure that the current security situation is placing on the public finances of member states, the heads of state invite the international financial institutions […] to put in place additional resources to face it”, indicates the final communiqué. “We bring this combat against terrorism not only to protect our own people and countries, but for the whole world,” declared Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou who is taking over the presidency of the G5 Sahel from the Malian president for a one-year mandate. The Joint Force was officially launched at the extraordinary summit on 2 July 2017 in Bamako, Mali, but still lacks funding to become fully operational. The five member countries pledged EUR 10 million each, representing approximately 11% of the required resources (EUR 450 million). In addition, Saudi Arabia pledged USD 100 million, the European Union EUR 50 million, France EUR 8 million (mostly technical equipment) and the US announced USD 60 million in bilateral aid. An international high-level conference on the Sahel, co-chaired by the G5 Sahel, the African Union and the EU, is scheduled for 23 February in Brussels. It aims to raise additional contributions to fill the funding gaps. In the meantime, in Niamey the G5 leaders approved the Joint Force’s operational set-up, the creation of a dedicated trust fund, procedures and guidelines, a measure to integrate a regional police academy within the national police academy of Chad and the creation of a G5 Sahel Defence College in Mauritania. They also announced an organisational audit to advance the restructuring of its Permanent Secretariat based in Nouakchott “to allow it to fully play its role.” G5 leaders appointed the Nigerien Mama Sidikou, as the new permanent secretary. Among other things, the Permanent Secretariat is in charge of organising, together with CILSS, a round table in Brussels (27-28 June 2018) to raise funds for the Priority Investment Programme (PIP G5 Sahel). The next ordinary session of the G5 Sahel Conference of Heads and State is scheduled to take place in February 2019 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
Statement of the President of Mali (French)