N’DJAMENA, 17 February 2021 – Morocco committed Tuesday to work with the five Sahel member states in the promotion of regional security.
Rabat made the commitment Monday in the Chadian capital, N’Djamena, during the opening day there of the Seventh Summit of Five Sahel Countries (G5 Sahel).
The Sahel countries – Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania, Mali, and Niger – also committed to work together on joint counterterrorism and anti-insurgency initiatives.
“The priorities of [Chad’s] presidency will be to build on what has been achieved and to refocus on development issues,” said Issa Doubragne, Chad’s minister of the Economy, Development Planning and International Cooperation.
Chad, which has deployed 1,200 troops to other countries of the region, assumed the rotating presidency of the G5 Sahel at the close of the bloc’s seventh summit on Wednesday.
Part of the deliberations at the summit focused on what to do with French troops in the Sahel, with G5 Sahel leaders worried about street demonstrations against the continued presence of French troops.
The summit spent a lot of time discussing their work on anti-insurgency operations, reviewed failures, so far, to stabilize the region over the past seven years and recommitted to better coordinate their efforts going forward in order to guarantee peace and stability.
While 2020 saw fewer attacks across the Sahel than the previous years, the region still experienced some of the worst attacks on record, Morocco’s Head of Government, said Saad Dine El Otmani, told the summit.
El Otmani reiterated Morocco’s readiness to continue to support the G5-Sahel Defense College in Nouakchott.
In some Sahelien countries, victims of the insurgency have risen fivefold, with more than 3.5 million people forced into refugee camps or living as internally displaced persons.
French President Emmanuel Macron, whose countries has 5,100 troops currently deployed in the Sahel region, participated in the summit via video conference, with Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo attending as well.