ALGIERS – Former president of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou said, Saturday, that Algeria plays a vital role in the stability of the Sahel, noting that the security crisis in the region was “colossal” and “difficult.”
Leading a conference under the theme, “Security challenges in the African Sahel region and their repercussions on stability in the region”, at the National Institute for Global Strategy Studies (Inesg), Mr. Issoufou affirmed that ” Algeria, which is a power “in the African continent” has the capacity and the expertise necessary to contribute to the stability of the Sahel”.
In this regard, the former President of Niger explained that, “Algeria’s involvement should concern all areas”, noting that in addition to the military field, “the fight against terrorism and organized crime is also ” ideological, political and economic”.
Insisting on Algeria’s pioneering role in stabilizing the Sahel region, the former President listed certain initiatives, noting that the country has notably been at the forefront of the “creation of cooperation and dialogue mechanisms” in the region and that he was the “craftsman” of several peace agreements in the Sahel.
“The fight against terrorist organizations in the Sahel requires the support of Algeria, which is essential in the search for peace and stability in the region,” he insisted.
Mr. Issoufou also said that “the security crisis that the Sahel region is experiencing today is of a magnitude and complexity never known”.
Stressing that the Sahel region faces the threat of several terrorist groups, Mr. Issoufou assured: “We cannot talk about security without talking about development”.
Referring to the case of Niger, he affirmed that his country is “relatively spared” by terrorism.
“In the case of Niger, our country has been facing, from 2015, terrorist and criminal threats on the border with Mali and Burkina Faso where Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and the EI as well as the Boko Haram group are rife in the Lake Chad Basin,” he pointed out.
Faced with this threat, he indicated that Niger has responded by building “strong and stable democratic institutions”, noting that his country carried out, on April 12, 2021, the first democratic alternation in the history of the country since its independence.
Present at the conference, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the National Community Abroad, Ramtane Lamamra hailed the career of the former President of Niger, in particular his role in the establishment of a democracy “outside ethnicity”.
He also welcomed the fact that “the vision of Niger and Algeria have been identical in strongly condemning foreign intervention in Libya and the marginalization of the African Union”.
In addition to the former president of Niger, several participants in the meeting led conferences dealing with various themes relating to the situation in the Sahel.
These include, among others, the conference on “strategic and security issues in the African Sahel region” led by political scientist M’hand Berkouk, and that on “Smartpower in the Sahel: building a sovereign media debate” , presented by Professor Ahmed Kateb.