For cooperation of Sahel-Saharan States against terrorism

For cooperation of Sahel-Saharan States against terrorism

Security / Sahel / Sahara

Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah: a cooperation of Sahel-Saharan States against terrorism




(MFI / 08/11/11) According to the president of the Center for Security Strategies of the Sahel-Sahara Centre (4 S) Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the cooperation of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD) in the fight against terrorism must be frank and sincere.


Former UN special envoy to Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah warned of the dangers of collusion between some military circles and radical activists. Collusion that has destabilized Somalia at the time, and that could be found in the Sahel.

RFI: What do you recommend for the Libyan crisis does not destabilize the Sahel-lasting Sahara?

Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah: We need several things. We need the governments of the region throughout the Sahel are mobilizing to strengthen the home front. But above all the sub-regional powers collaborate and work together to avoid what I saw in Afghanistan (competition between sub-regional powers) or what I saw in Somalia. It would also help countries in the front, that is to say, Niger, Mali, Mauritania receiving many immigrants and many veterans.

RFI: The countries of the forehead, like Algeria, which also met recently for a summit against terrorism in the Sahel, they play the game or do they have ulterior motives?

A.O.A. : There are two things. I think there are four countries that are directly involved: Algeria, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. But by themselves they can not overcome a problem that cuts across. There is also the problem of drugs, trafficking. I think that all interested countries, from Senegal to Sudan, must be involved, thinking as a collaboration between Algeria, Morocco, Ivory Coast, Tunisia, in due course. There is room for everyone beyond the four countries of the front.

RFI: Is there not in the Sahel sometimes guilty or complex links between certain circles or state structures and criminals and radical activists?

A.O.A. : Many people think that what is seen in Afghanistan, among certain services and networks or some combatants, or what we saw in Somalia between some networks and some state organizations, can occur, which happens to Moreover, in the Sahara. That is to say the connections based clan, tribal or interests between security services and some traffickers or radical activists. I’m not saying it’s necessarily the case in the Sahel. Should be avoided in any case that the connection grows. There is no doubt that in such situations – and this is not unique in the Sahel, it exists in Latin America, on the basis of family or tribal – the terrorists or traffickers, by marriage or associations, start or come close to the security services responsible for the chase or follow them. So there is this risk. ا has not surprise me that the more conflict and the crisis continues, the more reinforcing networks for many reasons.

RFI: Is that in some countries, the military has no interest in that instability continues, even if only because of the budgets allocated to them in the fight against crime?

A.O.A. : It is not possible to combat violence, terrorism and trafficking, without armies and security services well equipped. At the same time, the more ways there are more temptations. I think in the Sahel and the Sahara, this risk may exist. It must be fought from the start, and the best way is to make frequent rotations in the commandments, if we want to avoid what happened in other countries. However, I think that the armies in the region have extensive experience in the fight at the borders and we must give them the benefit of the doubt.

RFI: What are the adverse effects of the Libyan crisis on security in the Sahel?

A.O.A. : To me, the greatest danger is the return of seasoned veterans who have no future and are willing to engage where there are the best deals, whether in illegal actions or a losing battle. This is where really I appeal to the international community to assist countries of the front, Niger, Mali and Mauritania, who need it most, because of the weakness of their structures and lack of resources. More importantly, it would be desirable to have a pardon in Libya, first to make reconciliation, but also to retain as much as possible at home Sahelians who have not committed crimes beyond repair.

RFI: Will the Islamists came to power in countries that have experienced the « Arab spring » is a good thing to fight effectively against the radical Islam that is expressed so far by terrorism?

A.O.A. : I think any party that comes to power through the democratic process can only be a good thing. It should simply that the party follows the rules that led to power.


Based in Nouakchott, the 4S Centre is regional in scope as it covers a band from Mauritania through Guinea, south, and to Chad and Sudan to the east after crossing the Atlantic and crossed the savannah. His research studies are the defense and security of the Sahel-Sahara band, armed violence and terrorism, rivalry for oil, gas and uranium, irregular migration into and out of Africa, smuggling cigarettes, drugs and human trafficking, etc., the environment and renewable energy. Its purpose is to help the region and its international partners – public and private, as well as those of civil society, universities, Forums and other groups – to work together to ensure greater security and prosperity of the Sahelo Sahelian .

Ahmedou Ould Abdallah

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