Algeria

…in the long run, there is a growing awareness of the need to address the underlying causes of instability in the Sahel region, which are terrorism, underdevelopment, weak governance, and poverty, all of which are, at least in part, linked to climate change. The G5 Sahel guides the African Union policy’s multidimensional engagement to address the root causes of crisis in the region. Mitigating the impact of climate change is a main objective.


Created in February 2014, the G5 Sahel is an organisation for coordinating and monitoring regional cooperation in the fight against terrorism, and comprises Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Tchad. Mauritania assumed the presidency of the regional body in 2014 and was followed by Chad in November 2015.

On its part, the Algerian regime faces terrorism from several jihadi groups which are active and have links to the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS), also known as ISIL and Da’esh, and other terrorist organisations present within its territory. The ongoing crisis in Libya has an influence on Algeria’s security, and it is of serious concern to the G5 Sahel.

According to the European Union, the Sahel region faces a number of pressing threats including climate change, irregular migrations, institutional weaknesses, terrorism and related crimes such as trafficking in human beings. Violent extremism and terrorism complicate the picture and pose serious security threats to the region, having potential spill-over effects outside the region.

The Libyan territory has now become home to the largest Daesh powers outside of the Middle East, and creates a Daesh bridgehead on the Mediterranean south coast, posing a threat to neighbouring countries in the Sahel through the various terrorist actions. The G5 Sahel is concerned about the porousness of the Libyan borders and the lack of central political control has increased the proliferation and trafficking of weapons, as well as the free movement of foreigner organisations in the area.

The Joint Operational Army Staffs Committee (CEMOC) was created in April 2010 to exchange analyses and information and draft soldiers into actions undertaken according to the strategy to fight against terrorism in the region. The CEMOC which includes the army chiefs of four countries (Algeria, Mali, Mauritania and Niger), has its headquarters in Tamanrasset (1950-km south of Algiers). Despite all its prerogatives, the CEMOC was not able to prevent the collapse of the Mali government in 2012. It has not yet launched joint cross-border operations, and the lack of central military control has facilitated the creation of the G5 Sahel.

From Nouakchott to Cairo, climate change is one of the most important of threats in this area and it affects through its consequences on societies and their stability, development and security. Climate change has become a major threat to human security. According to the United Nations, this threat comes hand in hand with terrorism, organised crime, and violent extremism, and is exacerbated by recurring droughts. The effective fight against terrorist activities will depend on a strengthened coordination between the concerned states. That’s why the destinies of Algeria and other African countries are intertwined. They face the future together. In this context, the goal to become a G5 member is a strategic one.

Algeria will constitute a true asset for the G5 Sahel, with its geostrategic location, and a large economic potential. Its accession to the G5 Sahel will bring an added value to the group, not a burden. An Algerian support is required to help the countries of the Sahel address the threat of terrorism which continues to spread beyond northern Mali. The G5 Sahel remains committed to playing its part, within the parameter of its mandate, to help the region face this security challenge.


Algeria’s accession will increase and improve the size of the military campaign against ISIS in the region in terms of financial and operational support, as well as in the provision of assistance to meet the humanitarian needs of refugees, facilitating their return to safe areas and assisting them to rebuild their livelihoods.

Algeria will constitute a true asset for the G5 Sahel, with its geostrategic location, and a large economic potential. Its accession to the G5 Sahel will bring an added value to the group, not a burden. An Algerian support is required to help the countries of the Sahel address the threat of terrorism which continues to spread beyond northern Mali. The G5 Sahel remains committed to playing its part, within the parameter of its mandate, to help the region face this security challenge.

According to the United Nations, in the long run, there is a growing awareness of the need to address the underlying causes of instability in the Sahel region, which are terrorism, underdevelopment, weak governance, and poverty, all of which are, at least in part, linked to climate change. The G5 Sahel guides the African Union policy’s multidimensional engagement to address the root causes of crisis in the region. Mitigating the impact of climate change is a main objective.

In 2015, Egypt started participating in G5 Sahel as an observer. There is an intense rivalry between the two Arab countries of Algeria and Egypt, fueled by a dispute over the future of Libya within the next six to twenty-four months, as well as a competition over who is going to become the Sahel’s dominant power. For Egypt, a new agenda focused on the Sahel is clearly in the making, and the G5 Sahel is expected to follow the trend. For the Algerian regime, the main concern is to secure its southern borders with the Sahel and at the same time to become the security “power broker” of the region, through a mediation between rebel groups in Mali.

Without concerted and tangible efforts by these countries with Algerian support to address the acute challenges confronting the inhabitants of the region, the consequences in the emerging future could be catastrophic. Faced with multifaceted challenges, Algeria and the G5 Sahel are at a crossroads. While the responsibility for the implementation of G5 Sahel rests with the concerned countries members, the United Nations has observed that national budgets are already under additional strain for higher security spending.

Several factors like environmental degradation, ‘jihadists’ returning from Syria and terrorism in Libya are challenges beyond the scope of individual governments, and require regional collective action. Given the interactions between these threats, only a joint action of countries is able to meet these challenges and threats. The future of G5 Sahel can be enhanced through new member countries.

Benteboula Mohamed-Salah, a Geographer, can be reached through beyusek@hotmail.fr.