G5 Sahel Joint Force [fr]
- The UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, with G5 Sahel’s Heads of States, French President Emmanuel Macron, and the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini
- Credits: UN Photos
The G5 Sahel Joint Force is a major African initiative, bringing together Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad, and supported by the African Union and the United Nations.
Created in February 2014, this regional force aims at improving the coordination of the countries at a regional level for development policies and security and defense activities. It aims especially at fighting the terrorist threat, starting with the securitization of borders area.
The cross-border nature of the terrorist threat requires indeed a regional approach to tackle the ramifications of the terrorist organization. This force will enable in particular the countering of multiple drugs and human trafficking that finance terrorists groups in the Sahel-Saharan strip.
France is particularly committed for a collective mobilization to support this regional force. At France’s initiative, the UN Security Council assured a strong and united support to the G5 Sahel Joint Force with the unanimous adoption of resolution 2359 in June 2017. This resolution calls in particular the international community to provide a logistical, operational and financial assistance to G5 Sahel Member States’ initiative.
Six months later, on 8 December 2017, the Security Council unanimously adopted at France’s initiative Resolution 2391. This resolution provides an operational and logistical support to the Joint Force of the G5 Sahel, through the UN peacekeeping operation in Mali, the MINUSMA. The adoption of Resolution 2391 marks a turning point by strengthening the United Nations’ support to the Joint Force.
By fighting against terrorists groups in the Sahel region, the G5 Sahel Joint Force contributes to secure the region, which will facilitate the implementation of MINUSMA’s mandate in Mali. MINUSMA is the only UN peacekeeping operation deployed in a terrorist environment. The action of the G5 Sahel Joint Force will be complementary to the peacekeeping operation MINUSMA, as it covers a broader area of operation (the 5 partner countries, on 3 time zones) and as it aims at carrying out antiterrorist operations, which is not MINUSMA’s role. The G5 Sahel force is thus the most adequate answer to the terrorist threat to MINUSMA.
The G5 Sahel Joint Force is also coordinating with the French forces of operation Barkhane. The goal is to enable States of the region to develop capacities to ensure their security in an autonomous way.
Both at a bilateral and European level and within the framework of the United Nations, France is firmly engaged in the fight against terrorism in Mali and in the Sahel region, with operation Barkhane and with the G5 Sahel Joint Force. At the request of the G5 Sahel States, 4,000 French soldiers have been deployed in the region. They continue their counter-terrorist actions in support to the G5 Sahel Force.
French President Emmanuel Macron reaffirmed France’s support at the G5 summit, held on 2 July 2017 in Bamako. The French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian also visited Niger early October 2017 where he visited the command post of the “center” sector of the G5 Sahel Joint Force, in order to assess the gearing up of the Force.
The European Union will also contribute financially to the Force, by 50 million Euros. On 16 December 2017, a conference of donators will be organized to facilitate the operationalization of the Force.
The situation in the Sahel region, a priority of the French presidency of the Security Council in October 2017
The situation in the Sahel region is at the core of France’s presidency of the Security Council’s for the month of October 2017. In addition to the consultations on MINUSMA on 5 October, the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, presented to the Security Council Members on 16 October, a report on the state of deployment of the G5 Sahel Force and the different support options the United Nations could bring to the Force.
At France’s initiative, the Security Council visited three of the five G5 Sahel countries from 19 to 23 October (Mauritania, Mali and Burkina Faso) to evaluate those recommendations in the light of the situation on the ground.
This visit was also the opportunity to prepare the ministerial meeting of the Security Council chaired by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on 30 October 2017 in New York and which aimed at collectively define the best way for the international community and the United Nations to support the G5 Sahel Joint Force.
In addition to the efforts to support the G5 Sahel Force, the international community is also committed for a sustainable stabilization of the Sahel region, which requires a political response (there will be no lasting stability in the region without resolving the crisis in Northern Mali) as well as in terms of development (this is the goal of the Alliance for the Sahel).