Panafrican News Agency

Chad concerned about Mali's withdrawal from GS Sahel and joint force

Bamako, Mali (PANA) - One week after Mali's decision to withdraw from all the G5 Sahel bodies, the Chadian president and current chairman of this regional organization, Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, has expressed his deep concern about this situation.

He said it was through a communiqué that he learned of Mali's withdrawal from all G5 Sahel organs and bodies, including the Force, deploring this decision, which has serious consequences for the whole of the G5 Sahel, and noting with regret that it was taken without prior consultation.

An official statement issued here Sunday said that, without approving the decision to withdraw, the Chadian side reiterated "its firm commitment to do everything possible to preserve the unity and cohesion of the G5 Sahel".

"For Chad, the G5 Sahel is an irreplaceable instrument of cooperation in terms of pooling efforts, resources and actions of its member states in the face of development and security challenges," the statement, signed by President Déby Itno, said.

"The Chadian government wants the contribution of all Sahelian countries in the face of the expansion of terrorism, which continues to spread beyond the Sahel to affect the coastal countries of West Africa, none of which can cope alone."

The statement announced that the Chadian side had already initiated consultations with other heads of state and government of member countries.

Chad recalled the responsibility of each of the member states to preserve and consolidate the common strategies put in place to protect the populations that are victims of barbaric attacks.

"The time is extremely serious to let the G5 Sahel break up," said the Chadian government, which called on all member states to combine their efforts to safeguard and strengthen the G5 Sahel.

On Friday, the president of the transition sent his minister of Communication, Abderaman Koulamallah, to Bamako, where he was received by the president of the transition in Mali, Colonel Assimi Goïta.

At the end of this audience, Koulamallah said he had received guarantees that Mali and Chad would continue their bilateral relations in the fight against terrorism.

Mali took this decision because of the refusal of the G5 Sahel to entrust it in 2022 with the presidency of the regional organization, which includes Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad.

Created in 2014 in Nouackchott, Mauritania, the G5 Sahel aims to fight terrorism of all kinds in the Sahel-Saharan strip and promote development in the area.

Mali explains this attitude of the G5 Sahel by the manipulation orchestrated by an extra-regional country without naming it.

In recent months, there has been a lot of tension between France, the colonial power, and Mali, particularly with regard to security management.

The French Barkane force dedicated to the fight against terrorism in the Sahel, has withdrawn from Mali, arguing that Russian mercenaries from the Wagner company were present on Malian soil.

This was denied by the Malian government, which says it has to do with Russian instructors who are now helping the Malian army, which is "growing in strength" to fight terrorists.

-0- PANA GT/IS/BBA/RA 22May2022