UNOAU and AU UNDERTAKE ASSESSMENT VISIT TO G5 SAHEL FORCE HEADQUARTERS
From 2 to 6 October, a team of officers from UNOAU and the AU Peace and Security Department (AU PSOD) conducted an assessment visit to G5 Sahel Joint Force Headquarters in Savare, Mali. Major General Francis Okello, the head of Planning and Operations Unit at the AU PSOD let the team which undertook the mission to assess the extent of work done in setting up G5 Sahel Joint Force Headquarters and to also provide strategic guidance based on the UN and AU experiences in establishing similar multinational force headquarters. In addition, the team also sought to assess the assistance the AU could offer G5 Sahel Joint Force towards maiking its Force Headquarters operational. The team met with the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Mali and the Sahel (MISAHEL) H.E. Pierre Buyoya in Bamako before travelling to Savare.
The G5 Sahel Joint Force, a 5000 strong force made up of troops from Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, is an offshoot of the “Nouakchott Process” (2014) has the mandate to combat terrorist armed groups, drug trafficking, organized transnational crime within the Sahelo-Sahel Boundary. The G5 Joint Force was authorized by the AU Peace and Security Council (AU PSC) in April 2017 and was recognized by the UN Security Council (UNSC) under UN Security Council Resolution, UNSCR 2359 in June 2017.