In their quest to forger a stronger alliance to fight insecurity, Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso, have signed a pact.
The pact was announced in Mali’s capital Bamako and established by The Liptako-Gourma Charter.
It binds the signatories to assist one another — including militarily — in the event of an attack on any one of them.
“Any attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of one or more contracted parties will be considered an aggression against the other parties,” according to the charter of the pact, known as the Alliance of Sahel States.
It also binds the three countries to work to prevent or settle armed rebellions.
Mali junta leader Assimi Goita said on his X social media account that the pact is to “establish an architecture of collective defence and mutual assistance for the benefit of our populations.”
The three countries are all ruled by soldiers who seized power. They have all been suspended by the regional body ECOWAS after coming under condemnation.
They are all struggling to deal with a state of insecurity in the Sahel region triggered by activities of Islamic insurgents linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State.
All three states were members of the France-supported G5 Sahel alliance joint force with Chad and Mauritania, launched in 2017 to tackle Islamist groups in the region.
The three countries however want to support each other fight off any of such rebellion or external aggression.