The Foreign and Defence Ministers of the G5 Sahel countries and France, and the G5 Sahel Permanent Secretary, held a videoconference on 27 April 2020 to examine the evolution of the situation in the Sahel.
The Ministers highlighted the urgent need for solidarity to address the COVID-19 pandemic and reaffirmed their strong will to do everything possible to limit the health and economic impact of this unprecedented crisis. They affirmed their full commitment and involvement in the management of the pan-African response initiative, based on strong support to health systems and a robust response to the economic, financial and social consequences of the crisis through an immediate moratorium on the payment of all external debts, the creation of a humanitarian bridge between Europe and Africa, and support for research. In this context, the Ministers underlined the importance of being able to examine the issue of debt cancellations in Africa and appealed to all creditors to undertake swift examination of this issue.
They then reaffirmed their commitment to the full implementation of the decisions adopted during the Pau Summit on 13 January 2020 and the G5 Sahel Summit in Nouakchott on 25 February 2020, and agreed to meet again before the Summit to be held in Mauritania on 29 and 30 June. The Foreign and Defence Ministers of the G5 Sahel countries and France examined and agreed on local indicators to assess the precise territorial impact of the common commitments, and will present the results jointly during the Summit on 29 and 30 June.
The Ministers welcomed the progress made in the fight against terrorism, including the activation of a joint command mechanism between the Barkhane Force and the G5 Sahel Joint Force, the launch of the G5 Sahel Joint Force’s Operation SAMA, and the implementation of several multi-party operations. They congratulated the Chadian armed forces on their operational success against Boko Haram, which has now been driven out of all the Chadian islands of Lake Chad, and called for international assistance to consolidate the results of that operation. They also highlighted the importance of sending a Chadian battalion to the Three-Borders area as soon as possible. They welcomed the commitment of international partners in the Sahel and called for increased support to the action of the G5 Sahel countries’ armed forces and to joint military operations in the Sahel, including within Task Force Takuba which was launched on 27 March.
The Ministers called for swift and full implementation of the Partnership for Security and Stability in the Sahel (P3S) initiative announced at the 2019 G7 Summit in Biarritz, in order to back the efforts of G5 Sahel countries to restore government services across their territories.
The Ministers encouraged all G5 Sahel partners, particularly within the Sahel Alliance framework, to focus on an integrated territorial approach to development, as well as humanitarian and stabilization aid, in order to facilitate the return of government services to the benefit of all populations in the Sahel. In this respect, the Ministers expressed their support for ECOWAS for the financial backing of Sahel countries in the fight against terrorism and requested full delivery of the announced resources.
Lastly, the Ministers welcomed the establishment of the Coalition for the Sahel and called upon the other bilateral and multilateral partners of the G5 Sahel countries that share the same values and goals to join the Coalition and contribute to the joint efforts under its respective pillars.