The heads of the armed forces of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso – three countries ruled by military regimes that have formed the “Alliance of Sahel States” – announced in Niamey on Wednesday the creation of a “joint force” to fight jihadists who unleash attacks on their lands.

This “joint force of the Alliance of Sahelian States will be operationally ready as soon as possible to address the security challenges in our region,” said General Moussa Salau Barmu, one of the leaders of the coup in Niger, in a press release for the meeting with his counterparts from Mali and Burkina Faso.

“We are convinced that thanks to the combined efforts of the three countries, we will succeed in creating the conditions for common security,” assured General Barmou. He emphasized that a joint operational plan will be drawn up to achieve the goals related to defense and security in the vast territory of the three states.

In Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali – three countries where jihadists have launched deadly attacks in recent years – civilian governments have been toppled by military coups since 2020.

The three states, former French colonies, turned their backs on Paris and turned to Moscow before forming the Alliance of Sahel States, which they aspire to develop into a confederation.

At the end of January, they announced that they would leave the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS/CEDEAO), without waiting for the one-year deadline for this process to complete, as provided for in its statutes