October Quarterly Update 2021
The Sahel has been experiencing a rapidly deteriorating security and political situation, including several mass-killings in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, one coup d’etat in Chad and yet another in Mali. Crisis Action worked with partners to engage Sahelian governments and their regional and international partners to prioritise the protection of civilians in their interventions and response while also accelerating the dissemination and roll out of the report ‘The Sahel: What needs to change’.
Increasing pressure on governments to uphold commitments to protect civilians
In welcome signs of impact, key governments have embraced the crucial ask of the Sahel campaign to date – to adopt a broader strategy beyond a military approach for the Sahel crisis. In July, President Macron announced concrete actions and timelines for a French troop reduction from the region, and Norway and the UK both publicly declared their alignment with the strategy and priorities of the People’s Coalition. Beyond his recognition of the limits of a military response, Burkinabe Minister of Reconciliation Diabré expressed interest to work with the People’s Coalition to advance their report recommendations.
To achieve this, Crisis Action:
- Organised meetings for partners to brief French and German government officials, EU Special Envoys; UN officials in the Sahel; Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) representatives and Sahel experts.
- Supported the People’s Coalition to issue a joint statement and social media campaign ahead of the European Council meeting. The campaign reached over 600K users on Twitter which generated a 51% increase in traffic to the People’s Coalition website and 145 new clicks on the People’s Coalition report.
- Drafted and secured Al-Jazeera’s publication of an open letter to AU Commission Chair Moussa Faki, signed by seven prominent intellectuals and leaders from across Africa calling for enhanced AU leadership and the appointment of a new High Representative for Mali, amplified by signatories, policymakers and other news outlets.
- Secured the participation of People’s Coalition members at a webinar of the International Coalition for the Sahel involving more than 80 senior policymakers from Sahelian countries, the G5 Sahel, the EU, France and several donor countries and organisations. Crisis Action prepped and briefed partners on what to expect and how to maximise their impact during the event.
- Supported 8 partners in Burkina Faso to develop a strategy to engage national decision makers resulting in a meeting with the Minister of Reconciliation, Minister Diabré, whose team posted details of the meeting on Facebook, publicly affirming the coalition’s role as a valuable interlocutor.