Burkina Faso, Mali Agree Joint Force Against Jihadists

Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso have been confronted with deadly attacks by jihadist groups affiliated with the Islamic State group and Al-Qaeda.

Burkina Faso and Mali agreed Tuesday to mount joint military operations against jihadist groups who have ravaged Africa’s Sahel region, Malian Defense Minister Sadio Camara said Tuesday.

On a visit to the Burkinabe capital Ouagadougou, Camara met with Burkinabe President Roch Marc Christian Kabore to discuss the security situation in the region and bilateral cooperation, the Malian minister said.

Since emerging in northern Mali in 2012, jihadist groups have expanded into Burkina Faso as well as Niger.

Violence has ravaged the countries notably in the “three borders” region, a huge territory straddling the frontiers of Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso that has long been troubled by land feuds, trafficking, desertification, and a fragile state presence.

Thousands have died and millions have fled their homes.

“The challenge we face is shared, and the response needs to be comprehensive,” Camara said. “We must face this challenge together.”

He said Mali’s junta leader Assimi Goita and Burkina’s Kabore “share the same vision in the framework of the fight against terrorism (and) their goal is to find a solution to this problem that has made our brave populations suffer so much.”

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