On 2 July, amid the African Union summit in Mauritania’s capital Nouakchott, the presidents of France and five Sahelian countries (Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad) met to discuss Sahelian security generally and the G5 Sahel Joint Force specifically. One outcome of the meeting was the sack of the Joint Force’s commander, Malian General Didier Dacko.
For French speakers, though, I thought it would be useful to round up all the official readouts of the meeting I could find. The Chadian presidency and the Nigerien presidency released official statements, while Mali’s president did a wide-ranging interview with France24 on the margins of the summit and (so far as I could tell) Burkina Faso’s president did not release a readout, just two comments on Twitter. As for Mauritania, the official Agence Mauritanienne d’Information released a readout here. Finally, the French president’s remarks to the press can be found here.
To me the most interesting readout was the Nigerien version, which had a few highlights (other than the main theme of the meeting, which seems to have been “let’s get this thing going a lot more”):
- The G5 countries will now move to rebuild the damaged force headquarters in Sévaré, Mali;
- They will continue to pursue a United Nations Chapter Seven mandate for the force (more backstory here), which might help resolve some of its financial problems; and
- The regional governments will meet again in Nouakchott on 6 December.