West Africa A billion-dollar plan to fight against jihadism

West Africa: A billion-dollar plan to fight against jihadism

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A billion dollars over 4 years to fight against jihadism: this is the flagship decision of the extraordinary summit “fight against terrorism” of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which was held Saturday in Ouagadougou. “The debates allowed us to adopt very strong decisions (…) The conference (extended to Chad and Mauritania) adopted a plan of action and resource mobilization up to a billion dollars for the fight against terrorism, “welcomed Nigerian President Mahamadou Issoufou at the closing of the summit.

  • The G5 Sahel is finally far from dead

The plan and its budget, which uses only internal resources, will be presented in December at the next ECOWAS summit in Abuja. But the money that will be poured into a “common pot” will serve in particular to strengthen the operational capabilities of the national armies as well as joint forces like the G5 Sahel or the Multinational Joint Force of the Lake Chad Basin. “The G5 is far from dead. The final communiqué (of the summit) shows the support of the ECOWAS G5 Sahel and the mixed force of the Lake Chad Basin, “said the Nigerian president, current president of ECOWAS, while many observers announced” the funeral “of the G5 during the Ouagadougou summit. “In the immediate future, it is they (the G5 Sahel and Lake Chad Basin forces) who are on the ground,” President Issoufou insisted, while the final communiqué evoked the “leadership of the Cédeao” and the recourse to the waiting for the West African Community.

  • Threats that transcend borders.

From the opening of the summit, the president of the commission of the ECOWAS, Jean-Claude Brou, set the scene by evoking the “2,200 attacks during the last four years, the 11,500 dead, thousands of wounded”, “millions of displaced “, a” significantly affected economic activity “,” exacerbated inter-community conflicts “in the Sahel and a threat to the South. The Burkinabé President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré underlined that “the threats transcend the borders”. “No country is safe”, recalling that “the escalation of violence has unleashed an unprecedented humanitarian crisis” in the Sahel and that “schools and health infrastructure (have been) closed and symbols of the ‘State destroyed’ in his country.

During the summit, Cédeao also announced that it would solicit the World Bank and the IMF to make security spending “considered as investment” and solicit Western and Arab donors to better fight against jihadism. ECOWAS does not want a “military” response, considered necessary but not sufficient. It is “vain without sustainable development, inclusive and fair”, according to President Kaboré.

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