Sahara-Sahel

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    On 25 February 2017, Morocco officially asked the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to become a full member. Morocco has been an observer to ECOWAS and has developed strong political, human, historical, religious and economic ties at all levels with ECOWAS member countries. Read on
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    SWAC: 
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    As we mark International Women’s Day today with a large number of events organised across West Africa, it is a timely moment to look at progress made and remaining obstacles to achieving gender equality. The SWAC Secretariat has prepared a series of articles, documents, maps & facts. Did you know? Since 1984, 8th of March is a public holiday in Burkina Faso. Read on
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    On Monday, 6 February, the G5 Sahel heads of state met for their sixth extra-ordinary summit on the theme, “The security situation in Mali and its impact on the Sahel.” The meeting took place against a background in which Mali's peace agreement is breaking down; there are persistent terrorist attacks and, in recent months, there have been many operations in neighbouring countries. Among the measures mentioned, the G5 leaders emphasised the implementation of a joint force. Read on
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    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. The region is at risk of becoming a sanctuary for terrorist groups and criminals of all kinds. Read on
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    The murderous attack on the Joint Operational Mechanism base in Gao on 18 January threatens to undermine efforts to achieve peace in Mali. The attack, which killed nearly 80 people and injured more than 100, targeted a key feature of the Algiers peace agreement: joint patrols. These patrols, which bring together soldiers from the Malian military, members of the Co-ordination of Azawad Movements as well as from several militia groups, are aimed at securing areas that are currently beyond the control of authorities, particularly in the north. Read on
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    Niger is now facing three threats. In the west, Niger faces the risk of destabilisation coming from northern Mali; in the south, the influence of Boko Haram is growing, and in the north-east, the risks related to the war in Libya represents a serious cause for concern. Read on
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    Millions of Malians cast their ballots on 20 November 2016 to elect some 12 000 councillors across in the long-delayed municipal elections, which have been pushed back four times over the last two years. Only 640 of Mali’s 703 communes were able to hold elections, and they were marked by low voter turnout, protests and some incidents of violence. Read on
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    According to a source from the French Ministry of the Interior, France plans to increase its support to Senegal and the G5 Sahel countries (Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Mali, Niger and Chad) to help them deal with security challenges. About EUR 42 million of financial assistance is planned for the 2017-22 period, half of which will be used to acquire new equipment. Read on
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    The 29 September 2016 report of the UN Secretary General on the situation in Mali presents a bleak appraisal of the past three months. It barely masks the widespread frustration over the continued lack of concrete progress in the peace agreement’s implementation. Problems include: violations of the ceasefire in the Kidal region; inter-communal clashes in the Mopti region; attacks against United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), etc. Read on
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    On the occasion of the 31st CILSS Day, the Malian President and current CILSS chairman, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta (IBK), raised awareness about the importance of water for the Sahel and West Africa’s social and economic development. In his video message, he called for national and regional policies to support sustainable management of agricultural water resources. Water resource management will also help address the many challenges that the region faces such as food security, resilience and climate change. Read on

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