The transitional governments of Burkina Faso and the Republic of Niger have officially declared their withdrawal from the G5 Sahel, as revealed in a joint statement dated Friday, December 1, 2023.
The G5 Sahel, also known as G5S, serves as an organizational framework for coordinating regional cooperation on development and security matters in West Africa, comprising five Sahel countries: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger.
In their statement released on Saturday, Burkina Faso and Niger expressed their observation that, after nearly nine years, the G5 Sahel is struggling to achieve its intended objectives.
They contended that the organization has deviated from its original purpose, facing institutional challenges that hinder the legitimate aspirations of member states to transform the G5 Sahel space into a zone of security and development.
The translated statement from French emphasized that, following a comprehensive review of the G5 Sahel and its functioning, the transitional governments of Burkina Faso and the Republic of Niger have autonomously decided to withdraw from all G5 Sahel bodies, including the Joint Force, effective November 29, 2023.
Established on December 19, 2014, by Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Chad, the G5 Sahel initially aimed to pool resources and capacities to foster security and development in the Sahel region.
It became evident, however, that nearly nine years into its existence, the organization faces challenges in achieving its objectives.
The joint statement underscored the struggle against institutional complexities, which, according to Burkina Faso and Niger, deviate from the path of independence and dignity they are committed to today, rendering their participation in the G5 Sahel contrary to their objectives.
The statement further highlighted the shared understanding of Burkina Faso and the Republic of Niger that the G5 Sahel should not serve foreign interests at the expense of the Sahelian peoples.
It rejected any imposition of power in the name of a misguided partnership, emphasizing the right to sovereignty for the peoples and states of the Sahel. Burkina Faso and Niger, with clear intent, have assumed the historical responsibility to withdraw from the organization.
Despite this withdrawal, the transitional governments of Burkina Faso and the Republic of Niger remain deeply committed to achieving lasting peace in the Sahelian space.
They emphasized the necessity for united efforts among states in combating terrorism, cross-border crime, and fostering development.
Burkina Faso and Niger plan to sustain their cooperative efforts, particularly within the Alliance of Sahel States, to establish the Sahelian space as an area of sovereignty for reclaiming territories and restoring peace and security as a foundation for shared development among the peoples of the Sahel.