Wed. Sep 20th, 2023

Recently, top diplomats from Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Mali came together in Ouagadougou for a meeting, marking a new era of cooperation in West Africa. These three countries have experienced a series of coups and instability due to jihadist violence in the Sahel region, and the meeting is seen as a step towards a better future. This meeting was prompted by Burkina Faso’s Prime Minister’s suggestion that the two countries form a federation to boost their economic power.

The meeting was attended by Abdoulaye Diop from Mali, Morissanda Kouyaté from Guinea, and Olivia Rouamba from Burkina Faso, and after the working session, the diplomats are expected to address the press. The statement released by the Burkinabe Ministry of Foreign Affairs highlights the importance of this meeting, as this is the first time in several years that these countries have come together to address the needs of their people.

The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, also visited Mali two days ago, promising his support to the Sahel-Saharan region and the countries bordering the Gulf of Guinea. This visit has sparked speculations about Russia’s involvement in the region, and the desire of the countries to diversify their partnerships. The new regime that emerged after the September 30, 2022 coup d’état has expressed its desire to look at other horizons and forge win-win partnerships with other countries.

Captain Ibrahim Traoré, who emerged from the recent coup, has stated that the country wants to buy military equipment from other countries if it cannot afford to do so in one country. This statement has also sparked accusations from western countries that Mali is hosting mercenaries from the Russian group Wagner, which Bamako denies. Captain Traoré also denied the presence of Wagner mercenaries in Burkina Faso, saying that their Wagner is the Volunteers for the Defense of the Fatherland, the civilian auxiliaries of the army.

In conclusion, the meeting of the top diplomats from Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Mali is a step towards a better future for the region. The region has been plagued by instability and violence, and this meeting marks the beginning of a new era of cooperation and hope. The involvement of Russia in the region has also sparked speculations, and it remains to be seen how the situation will develop in the coming months.

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