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The G5 Sahel: The End of the Road


This paper analyzes the dissolution of the G5 Sahel alliance, a regional cooperative framework established in 2014 to address security challenges and development policies in West Africa. The departure of Burkina Faso and Niger in 2023, following Mali’s exit in 2022, prompted the disbanding of the alliance, underscoring the complexities of interstate cooperation in combating terrorism and radical Islam in Africa. It delves into the G5 Sahel’s objectives, its attempts at fostering economic growth, security, and regional development, and the operationalization of the G5 Sahel Joint Force aimed at combating Islamic terrorism and organized crime. The paper critically examines the internal disagreements, economic dependencies, and the overwhelming influence of external actors, notably France, which contributed to the perception of the initiative as a neo-colonial enterprise, culminating in its eventual failure. Additionally, it discusses the impact of political instability, military coups, and the lack of international support on the efficacy of the alliance. The analysis concludes by reflecting on the lessons learned from the G5 Sahel experience for future military cooperation efforts in Africa, highlighting the potential for new forms of cooperation that are more tailored to the specific challenges of the Sahel region.