Liptako-Gourma: new joint task force
Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali have a plan to create a new joint task force to fight insecurity in the Liptako-Gourma area. The decision was taken on 24 January in Niamey during the second Extra-ordinary Conference of Heads of State of the Integrated Development Authority of the Liptako-Gourma region. “We have decided to pool our intelligence resources, our (military) operational capacities to deal with the security situation in this area,” declared President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger. The operational headquarters will be based in Niamey and the chief of defence will rotate among the three countries. The Liptako-Gourma zone is a semi-arid area of the Sahel covering some 370 000 km2. The region is at risk of becoming a sanctuary for terrorist groups and criminals of all kinds. The new joint task force is following the example of the mixed multi-national force created in 2015 by Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria to fight Boko Haram in the Lake Chad basin.