Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger leaders solidify alliance

By December 1, 2023

Central Sahel (MNN) — The military leaders of three West African nations recently met to legitimize a political and security alliance.

Islamic terror groups are rampantly active in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger. They’ve been wreaking havoc in the Central Sahel region since 2015.

“On one hand, this is an expression of ‘Hey, we will not tolerate this anymore. We want to be known as a region of prosperity, not a region defined by insecurity,’” Greg Kelley of Unknown Nations, formerly World Mission, says.

“It’s hard for them to move forward economically [with] constant upheaval. The other piece of it (the alliance) is their efforts to become less dependent on Western aid.”

Challenges remain, however. While recent coups have propelled military leaders to power, these takeovers also signal regional instability and a power vacuum that terrorists may exploit.

The Sahel region had more deaths from terrorism last year than South Asia and the Middle East/North Africa regions combined. Attacks have left three million people homeless in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger.

“You have these (terrorist) groups wandering through and causing so much turmoil, and you have [millions of] people that are being displaced. [These conditions] make it very difficult to share the Gospel,” Kelley says.

“Insecurities absolutely impact Gospel efforts among the largely unreached people groups in these countries.”

Nonetheless, believers offer help and hope in the name of Jesus. “The indigenous leaders are very well positioned because they understand the dynamics,” Kelley says.

“Indigenous leaders are ready to take the Gospel into the (unreached) places; they just need a motorcycle; they need some humanitarian aid or assistance.”

Unknown Nations provides the tools and resources necessary for outreach. Here’s how you can help. Most importantly, pray. “The Lord gave us specific instructions,” Kelley says.

“He said, ‘Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers.’”



Header image courtesy of Unknown Nations.

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