In the Sahel, terrorists are now sitting at the negotiation table,

The idea of engaging in dialogue with certain jihadist groups was high on the minds of the Group of Five Sahel countries (G5 Sahel) during the N’Djamena summit in Chad on 15 and 16 February. Initiating negotiations with certain jihadist groups is increasingly being touted as a possible route towards finding a political resolution to the Sahel crisis. […]

The fifth pillar of the country’s “transition roadmap”, adopted in September 2020, echoes these recommendations in proposing the initiation of dialogue with radical armed groups, while Mali’s authorities, and more specifically the prime minister of the transition, Moctar Ouane, have made it clear that they intend to go forward with the discussions begun by former president Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta’s government prior to his ouster.

Based on the content of a political address given by the prime minister of Burkina Faso, the country’s authorities seem to have shifted their position on talks. Up until recently, the government had been very adamant in its refusal to enter into dialogue of any kind.

It is also worth mentioning that significant mediation efforts have previously been carried out at the local level by traditional, customary and religious actors, who sometimes participate in talks facilitated by international partners. […]

Though these local initiatives are still insufficiently coordinated and remain limited in scope, the growing number of peace-building efforts shows that the crisis is producing new spaces of local governance outside the realm of state control and authority. The push for peace also signals that a bottom-up approach to dialogue is taking shape to fill the gaps left by state-led diplomatic efforts, while developing in parallel with counterterrorism military operations carried out by the G5 Sahel Joint Force, France’s Operation Barkhane and the EU’s Takuba Task Force. Läs artikel