On 22 September 2020, it was announced in the Republic of Mali that the former Minister of Defence Colonel Bah Ndaw has been appointed as the country's Interim President in compliance with the conditions of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) that it had set at the Accra (the capital of Ghana that currently chairs the Organisation) Summit, which was held on 15 September 2020. On 5 October 2020, the new Malian government was announced. Its formation was signed by President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Mukhtar Wan. It is comprised of 25 ministries, the military having assumed four sensitive and important ministries, namely defence, local administration, security, and national reconciliation. In response to those developments, on 6 October 2020, ECOWAS announced the lifting of the sanctions imposed on Mali.
While the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) entered the stage of final preparations for the presidential elections scheduled for 31 October 2020, the internal political crisis in the country worsened, and indications of deteriorating security conditions increased, even as some international pressures increased on the regime to engage in an open dialogue with the opposition to avoid the political situation getting out of control.
Niger has been the subject of considerable regional and international attention, given its prominent role in the war on terror in the Sahel, the Sahara, and West Africa. Niger occupies a geostrategic position, which is affected by the crises in neighboring States, such as Libya, and in the wider region. The army is also involved in regional and international efforts to combat terrorist and extremist organizations in the region, with the aim of restoring regional security and stability.
Niger therefore has all the ingredients required to make it a reliable partner and essential ally in the region for the major powers, especially with regard to combatting terrorism in the Sahel and the Sahara, given the international scramble to intervene in the region. Despite its relatively weak capabilities and the challenges that will have to be overcome, Niger may find itself with a significant role to place in the region in upcoming months that will strengthen its position in the Sahel and the Sahara.
Turkey continues its relentless pursuit of developing its African relations, especially in the Sahel and Sahara region and the western part of the continent, with the aim of building multiple partnerships in order to achieve its strategic objectives that centre around finding a foothold in this strategic part of the continent and contributing to the re-engineering of the regional equation in the Sahel and Sahara. Naturally, this is done in light of the urgency of some issues that are intertwined in defining Turkey's relationship with the Arab world, Europe and Africa, such as the growing phenomenon of terrorism and terrorist organisations in the Sahel and West Africa, the continuing illegal migration crisis to Europe, as well as the scrambling of some European powers in the Sahel and Sahara, such as France and Germany, in addition to Turkey’s continuous attempts to influence the Libyan file with the aim of strengthening its influence in Libya and encircling the strategic interests of local, regional and international powers that are opposed to Turkey's negative role there.
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