The security situation in the Sahel region is weak – government agencies are essential in the fight against terrorism. That is why regional communities are pushing for an orderly change in Mali after the August 2020 military coup. The African Union has set up a committee to support the change, which convenes for the second time on March 8 in Lome, the capital of Togolese. During his visit to Germany, DW was able to talk with Togo’s Foreign Minister Robert Dassi about his country’s commitment.
DW: A summit was recently held in Lom, Togo, to discuss the more volatile situation in Mali.
Robert Dussey: Mali has had difficult times since the plot, but thanks to the commitment of the West African community, IGOs, the United Nations and the African Union, a civil and peaceful transformation has taken place in Mali. This is very favorable not only for Mali, but also for the West African subcontinent and the Sahel region, and unfortunately we are going through difficult times due to the recurring jihadi attacks in this region.
What is Mali’s support group doing in this regard?
The aim of this support group is to make the Malian interim government a success. A few weeks ago, the Malian Prime Minister presented his route map to the interim parliament, the CNT. This road map has been approved and confirmed by Parliament. The entire international community supports this roadmap that will lead to presidential and parliamentary elections in Mali in the first quarter of 2022. So it was an encouraging result for Mali.
Robert Dussey meets his German rival, Haiko Mass, in Berlin
Togo’s further involvement was an encouraging result, especially for Mali. Will there be more efforts to persuade Mali?
Togo sent more than a thousand troops to Mali as part of the UN Minusma mission. Togolese diplomacy is mainly based on the fact that we are from the same region. First, it is about unity beyond Mali. The problem we have in the West African sub-region is violent extremism and jihadism in Sahel. Togo also feels the threat of this Islamism in the Sahel region heading towards coastal countries like us and our neighbors. We must do everything we can to prevent this indiscriminate violence in Sahel.
Not only are we in the same region, but we are also neighbors of some countries affected by terrorism. An end to violence is also in Europe’s interest, because violent extremism and Islamism know no bounds.
The interview was conducted by Carol Asiknan.