CHALLENGES FOR THE NEWLY FORMED G5 SAHEL FORCE
The increasing influence of ISIL/DAESH and Al Qaeda-affiliated groups in Africa`s Sahel region and the complex web of transnational criminal networks and militant groups who thrive in an environment of weak states pose a serious threat for both regional and international stability. As a joint effort against the raised levels of insecurity in the region, the G5 Sahel’s State members (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger), backed by France, the African Union`s Peace and Security Council and the UN Security Council, announced officially on 02nd July 2017 the formation of G5 Sahel force (“Force Conjointe” du G5 Sahel – FC-G5S). This initiative can be also considered as an invitation for third parties to “invest” in the regional security. The FC-G5S is supposed to be at the forefront of transnational security efforts in the Sahel region for the near future.
- With an average mission strength of 4,000/5,000 troops, the FC-G5S is composed of security units from the G5 Sahel organization’s member states.
- The FC-G5S concept of operations has four pillars: combating terrorism and drug trafficking; contributing to the restoration of state authority and the return of displaced persons and refugees; facilitation of humanitarian operations and the delivery of aid to the affected local population and contribution to the implementation of development strategies in the G5 Sahel region.
- The most immediate challenge for the newly formed FC-G5S is the lack of sufficient financial resources for effective execution of its activities.
- Other important challenges for FC-G5S are to properly define its structure, avoid redundancy and operational conflict with the other international actors in the region in order to achieve effective coordination and interoperability between the forces on the ground.