The European Business Council for Africa

Senegal’s president Macky Sall this week urged the international community and countries in West Africa’s Sahel not to negotiate with Islamist militant groups in the region.

His comments, in an interview with French radio station RFI, come amid growing momentum behind the idea of talks with Jihadist to try and resolve years of conflict that have left thousands dead, and displaced at least 2m according to the U.N.

This includes the governments of Mali and Burkina Faso, two members of the so-called G5 Sahel group that also includes Niger, Chad and Mauritania. Even France, which is spearheading counterinsurgency efforts and has long resisted the idea, has shown signs of softening its stance.

Sall’s dismay at the apparent caving in to terrorists is understandable, but those opposed to negotiating will struggle to offer an alternative.

A 5,100-strong French military contingent, part of a bigger international presence, andbillions in aid pledges, have failed to provide basic stability. In 2019 alone there were 4,000 reported conflict-related deaths in the region, up from 770 in 2016, and there are legitimate fears about instability spreading to coastal economies.[…]

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Source: Nurmara