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OUAGADOUGOU, BURKINA FASO
27 NOVEMBER 2018

CONCLUSIONS

1.    The 5th ministerial meeting of the countries from the Sahelo-Saharan region participating in the Nouakchott Process – established by the African Union (AU) in 2013- was held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, on the 27 November 2018. The meeting was preceded by the 9th meeting of the Heads of Intelligence and Security Services, which was held in the capital of Faso, on 26 November 2018.

2.    The Ministerial Meeting was attended by the following AU Member States: ALGERIA, BURKINA FASO, COTE D’IVOIRE, GUINEA, LIBYA, MALI, MAURITANIA, NIGER, NIGERIA, SENGEAL, and CHAD. In addition to the Commission of the African Union, the AU Mission to Mali and the Sahel (MISAHEL),  The African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT), the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services (CISSA), the Fusion and Liaison Unit (UFL), the North African Regional Capacity (NARC), the Permanent Secretary of the G5 Sahel, the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) also participated in the meeting.

3.    The opening ceremony included remarks by Ambassador Smaïl Chergui, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, M. Annadif Mahamat Saleh, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Mali and Head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), and H.E. M. Alpha Barry, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Burkina Faso.

4.    The participants exchanged views on the following issues and agreed on the conclusions listed below.  

OVERALL POLITICAL AND SECURITY SITUATION IN THE SAHELO-SAHARAN REGION

5.    The participants reviewed the political and security situation in the region since their last meeting held in Bamako, Mali, in September 2015.

6.    The participants their concern regarding the persistence of security threats in three areas of the Sahelo-Saharan region: Mali-Burkina-Niger, Lake Chad Basin, and Libya.

7.    With regards to the Mali-Burkina-Niger region, the participants noted the terrorist activities of the Group to Support Islam and Muslims (GSIM), the Islamic State, and Ansarul Islam. In light of the increased flow of illegal small arms and light weapons, the participants reiterated their deep concern for the proliferation of inter-communal violence and clashes between herders and farmers. In addition, they addressed the use of new technologies by terrorist groups, in particular, drones.

8.    The participants noted the recurrent terrorist attacks in Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso.

9.    While condemning the upsurge of violent attacks across the Sahelo-Saharan region, the participants noted with satisfaction the creation of the G5 Sahel and the ongoing efforts to operationalize the Joint Force. They noted the challenge of realizing the 414million euro contributions need to operationalize the Joint Force and called on technical and financial partners to support the Joint Force by developing projects around it. In this regard, the participants recalled the relevance of the Fiduciary Fund created by the G5 Sahel.

10.    With regards to the Lake Chad Basin, the participants expressed their deep concern with the expansion of transnational crime, the conflicts between herders and farmers, and the kidnappings done by Boko Haram and Ansar ul Islam in Nigeria.

11.    The participants hailed the actions of the Multinational Joint Force (MNJTF) against Boko Haram, and its commitment to the disarmament and reinsertion process.

12.    In addition, the participants welcomed the adoption of the Regional Stabilization Strategy for the Lake Chad Basin, which was conceived as a collective and global response to the criminal challenges posed by Boko Haram. They recommended the creation of a similar mechanism to counter terrorism and its consequences in the Sahelo-Saharan region.

13.    The participants expressed their concerns regarding the persistence of secessionist tendencies across the region, in particular, in South-Eastern Nigeria. In addition, the meeting highlighted the negative impact the spread of fake news and terrorist propaganda has had on the region.

14.    With regards to the situation in Libya, the participants noted that the continued destabilization of Libya, since 2011, has resulted in insecurity, characterised by the presence of the Islamic State, and the persistent clashes between armed militias and foreign armed elements. noted that the destabilisation in the country

15.    In the spirit of African solidarity, the participants called for the mobilization of regional and continental support to aid its fellow state in overcoming the challenges it currently faces.

16.     The participants underlined the multidimensional character of the counter-terrorist fight. They recognized the need for synergy- the coordination of complementary initiatives in the Sahel.

17.    The participants endorsed the operational conclusions adopted by the 9th meeting of the Heads of Intelligence and Security Services, held on 26 November 2018, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

18.    The participants emphasised their determination to implement the agreed upon measures. They requested the AU Commission to take all the appropriate measures to ensure its effective follow-up.

19.    Furthermore, the participants request the AU Commission to ensure the regional follow-up of the operational conclusions adopted at the 9th meeting of the Heads of Intelligence and Security Services with others stakeholders such as ECOWAS, CENSAD and G5 Sahel.

ON THE EXCHANGE OF VIEWS AND OPTIONS TO REACTIVATE THE NOUAKCHOTT PROCESS

20.    The participants stressed the need to reactivate the Nouakchott Process in order to operationalize the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA).

21.    The participants reaffirmed the commitment of their respective states and organizations to contribute to the continued strengthening of the Nouakchott Process, in acknowledgement of the fact that the Process constitutes a framework for the collective approach to the security challenges in region, based on a shared vision and responsibility. In this regard, they decided:

i.    The establishment of a rotating annual presidency among the states participating in the Nouakchott Process. Burkina Faso will assume the first annual presidential chair. The participants decided, following Burkina Faso, the rotation will be based on alphabetical order;
ii.    The organization, by the AU Commission, of an annual ministerial meeting;
iii.    The organization, by MISAHEL, of biannual meeting, of the Heads of Intelligence and Security Services.  

22.    The participants emphasized the importance of the coordination of existing initiatives and the role of competent regional organizations in the promotion of peace and security in the Sahel.

APPRECIATION

23.    The participants thanked the Government of the Burkina Faso for their welcome and hospitality extended to all the delegates and for the excellent arrangements made for the smooth running of the ministerial meeting and the preparatory meeting of the Heads of Intelligence and Security Services.

24.    They particularly expressed their deep gratitude to H.E. M. Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, President of the Burkina Faso for his personal commitment and his continuous efforts for peace, security and development in the Sahelo-Saharan region.

Posted by Jonathan Doe

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