Burkina Faso Military Ruler Lands In Niger Republic For First Sahel Alliance Summit

Burkina Faso Military Ruler Lands In Niger Republic For First Sahel Alliance Summit

President Ibrahim Traore of Burkina Faso arrived in Niger Republic on Friday, ahead of a significant summit with fellow leaders from the Sahel region on Saturday.

Traore, a military officer, was received at Niamey International Airport by Niger’s military leader, Abdourahamane Tiani, according to AFP.

The summit, a first of its kind, aims to strengthen cooperation and address the pressing issue of terrorism in the region. The leaders of Mali and Niger are also scheduled to attend. 

This gathering marks a new chapter in regional cooperation, as the three countries seek to address the shared threat of jihadist violence. 

The local population showed their support by lining the streets and waving flags of the three nations.

Saturday’s summit in Niger’s capital Niamey will be the first between the military leaders of the Alliance of Sahel States (AES), set up in September.

The trio left the wider Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) bloc in January, alleging it was manipulated by France and not providing enough anti-jihadist support, Channels reports.

ECOWAS leaders will themselves be meeting at a summit in Nigeria on Sunday to discuss relations with the AES.

In early March AES announced joint anti-jihadist efforts, though they did not specify details.

The trio has shifted away from former colonial ruler France, expelling French troops, and turned towards Russia.

They have made sovereignty a guiding principle of their governance and aim to create a common currency.

Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger have been facing deadly jihadist violence for years, particularly in the so-called “three borders” zone, where groups linked to the Islamic State have killed civilians and soldiers in attacks and displaced millions of people.

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