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Niger, Burkina Faso And Mali Set To Form A Confederation

Niger, Burkina Faso And Mali Set To Form A Confederation

On Friday, the foreign ministers of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger, all under military rule, proposed the establishment of a confederation as part of a broader objective to eventually unite these West African neighbors within a federation.

Mali and Burkina, governed by juntas that took control through coups in 2020 and 2022, swiftly lent their support to Niger’s military rulers when they removed elected president Mohamed Bazoum in July. In response, they formed an agreement called the Alliance of Sahel States, aimed at fostering closer economic ties and providing mutual defense assistance in the event of a threat to the sovereignty or territorial integrity of any member.

In a joint statement following a two-day meeting in Mali’s capital Bamako, the foreign ministers spoke of the “great potential for peace, stability, diplomatic strength and economic development that a strengthened political alliance offers”.

“The ministers… guided by the ambition to ultimately achieve a federation uniting Burkina, Mali and Niger recommend the creation of a confederation to the heads of state of the Alliance of Sahel States,” the statement said.

Malian Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop said the conclusions will be submitted to their heads of state, who are due to meet in Bamako at an unspecified date.

The military regimes have also formed close ties against international pressure for a swift return to civilian rule and long-running jihadist insurgencies raging in the three countries.

The Bamako meeting aimed to flesh out the workings of the new alliance, with the ministers emphasising the importance of diplomacy, defence and development “to consolidate political and economic integration”.

The countries’ economy and finance ministers last month recommended creating a stabilisation fund, an investment bank and a committee that would study an economic and monetary union, the statement added.

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