Based on the following old maxim “To observe others so as to get inspired! “, the Liptako - Gourma Authority (LGA) intends to set up a Multinational Joint Task Force for Security in the LGA Region based on the model of the Multinational Joint Task Force of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (MNJTF/LCBC). In this vein, a High Level Delegation of this old Organization established in 1970 by the Heads of State of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger visited the HQs of the Multinational Joint Task Force Mission at LCBC HQs in N’Djamena on 27th April 2017 with a view to learning from the model of LCBC and successes recorded by the MNJTF.
At LCBC HQs, the High Level Delegation of the Liptako-Gourma Authority (LGA) led by Mr. OUA Saidou, Director General of the LGA, had wide-ranging discussions on the whys and wherefores which have led to the successful setting up and full operationalization of the MNJTF which now becomes a model to fight against terrorism. It is worth commending the wisdom and foresight of the Founding Fathers of the Lake Chad Basin Commission who, at the inception of this Organization on 22nd May 1964, mandated LCBC among others to preserve peace, security, stability and solidarity in the region. This is in addition to the initial mandate of the Organization which consists in ensuring the sound and integrated management of the water resources in the Lake Chad basin. The political will and the strong commitment of our leaders, Heads of State of LCBC’s member countries should also be highly commended. We may recall that at the beginning of the insurgency of Boko Haram Terrorist Group in the Lake Chad Basin area, the Heads of State spared no efforts towards reactivating and operationalizing fully the Multinational Joint Task Force which was already in existence, but dormant.
“You must rely on the commitment and political will of your Leaders to build up your Multinational Joint Task Force”, the Executive Secretary of LCBC, Head of Mission, Engr. Sanusi Imran ABDULLAHI clearly stated to the delegation.
It is worth recalling that the Liptako Gourma is an area situated at the tripoint between the borders of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. The area covers the border area of Burkina Faso and Niger where, in the 19th Century, the Fulani Kingdom of Liptako, was established. The term “GOURMA” refers to the right Bank of the loop of River Niger in Mali, NDLR). The Liptako-Gourma region thus covers 370,000 square kilometers. However, its actual scope of action goes beyond the aforesaid area with close to 20,000,000 inhabitants according to 2016 statistics.
Being a specific case in Africa due mainly to the homogeneity of socio-economic and climatic features and the historic ties between peoples living in the area, the Liptako-Gourma Authority focusses on the optimum valorization of pastoral, agricultural, energy and mining resources. Unfortunately, this historic region between these three countries has become today the target of terrorists’ attacks. Since then, the area has become a fertile ground for some terrorist groups affiliated either to Islamic State (IS) or al-Qaïda in Islamic Maghreb (Aqmi).
In view of this, the mandate of the Liptako-Gourma Authority was expanded by the 2nd Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State of the LGA held in January 2017 in Niamey, Republic of Niger, to include, in addition to development actions, the aspect of security with the establishment of a Multinational Joint Task Force for Security in the Liptako - Gourma region. The LGA was therefore directed to not only look for resources to develop a Joint Security Strategy for the three member countries, but also to mobilize necessary means to support the operations of the Joint Task Force to be established.
If this Joint Task Force is set up, this new military Force will be the 2nd Task Force after that of the G5 Sahel which already includes these three countries in addition to Mauritania and Chad, to come and learn from the model of the Multinational Task Force of the Lake Chad Basin Commission.