Mali announced on Sunday evening its withdrawal from the G5 Sahel and its anti-terrorism military force to protest against its refusal to assume the presidency of this regional organization formed with Mauritania, Chad, Burkina and Niger.
“The government of Mali decides to withdraw from all organs and bodies of the G5 Sahel, including the Joint Force” anti-jihadist, it says in a press release. A conference of G5 Sahel heads of state scheduled for February 2022 in Bamako was to “consecrate the beginning of the Malian presidency of the G5” but “nearly a quarter after the indicated term” this meeting “still hasn’t held up”, underlines this press release. Bamako “firmly rejects the argument of a member state of the G5 Sahel which advances the national internal political situation to oppose the exercise by Mali of the presidency of the G5 Sahel”, without citing this state.
Since January 9, Mali has been targeted by a series of economic and diplomatic measures by the Economic Community of West African States ECOWAS to sanction the intention of the transitional authorities to remain in power for several more years, after two putschs in August 2020 and then in May 2021.
They have opted for a two-year transition while ECOWAS is asking Bamako to organize elections in 16 months maximum. The G5 Sahel was created in 2014 and its anti-jihadist force launched in 2017.