“The crisis in the Sahel is revealing of the obsolescence of the instruments of international cooperation”, according to political scientist Niagalé Bagayoko

Tribune. Eight years after the start of the international community’s engagement in Mali, alarming signals of the worsening crisis that is inflaming the Sahel are constantly on the increase. The Sahelian crisis appears more and more to reveal the obsolescence of most of the instruments used in a traditional way by international actors, bilaterally or multilaterally.

The lack of decisive results obtained by operation “Barkhane”, as well as the human losses and its financial cost, are underlined on all sides. The negation of the political dimension of the insurrectional struggle led by the jihadist groups it faces – reduced to their sole mode of combat through the use of the term terrorist, including when their main targets are combat units – has compromised the formulation of political objectives in the service of which to mobilize the French military instrument.

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It should also be questioned training doctrines, as well as equipment policies promoted by decades of defense and security cooperation, which have failed to develop the capacities of the Malian armed forces. They had been unable in 2012 to cope with the offensive from the north of the country. However, it is largely from these systems that the European missions are inspired. responsible for providing training for the Sahelian defense and security forces. While their operationality has undeniably improved, these forces still do not appear to be able to fully assume their missions of protecting State institutions and maintaining public order and security in all territories. .

Complexity and slowness

The juxtaposition of new initiatives announced at the end of the various summits – G5 / Sahel, Alliance for the Sahel, Partnership for Security and Stability in the Sahel (P3S), European Force Takuba – makes the coordination mission immense, if not impossible. and consistency of the mechanism which is now the responsibility of the International Coalition for the Sahel, the establishment of which was recorded in Nouakchott in June 2020. The impact of the aid programs decided upon is also largely reduced by overly-focused methodologies. out of step with the realities on the ground. Added to this is the complexity and slowness of administrative and budgetary procedures to materialize the massive funding intended to make the G5-Sahel joint force more operational, which is announced at international donor conferences.

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