Algeria’s Security Concerns in the Sahel Region

Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
3 Min Read
Sahel

The Sahel region has become a focal point of security apprehensions for Algeria, as it grapples with a perceived erosion of its influence and mounting challenges along its borders. Recent military coups in three neighboring countries, lacking robust armed forces or material capabilities, have raised concerns in Algiers about potential border vulnerabilities. Additionally, Algeria fears the repercussions of Mali’s withdrawal from the 2015 Algiers Peace Accord.

The Algerian leadership openly acknowledges its unease amid the sweeping changes unfolding in the Sahel. With hostilities resurging along its borders, Algiers is keen to avert the eruption of a civil war in northern Mali at all costs. There are apprehensions that such conflicts could precipitate a refugee influx and potential infiltration of terrorist elements onto Algerian territory. The presence of Malian army proxies among Wagner Group mercenaries and pro-Turkish Syrian forces along its borders is also a cause for concern at the highest levels.

These developments have prompted Algeria to discreetly redeploy its military along its borders with Mali and Morocco. Algerian diplomats perceive these changes as a reconfiguration of alliances in the region. Former Algerian Minister Abdelaziz Rahabi suggests that the Sahelian countries experiencing military coups are shaping a new order in the region that surpasses their current capabilities and political discourse.

From Algeria’s perspective, the objectives of major powers aim to diminish its influence and exert pressure on its army along the southern border, in favor of other countries seeking to expand their influence in the area. Rahabi outlines a division of roles between Washington, which formulates strategies alongside Israel, the UAE, which finances these strategies, and Morocco, which executes the envisioned agenda for the region.

Amid accusations of interference in Mali, Algeria seizes every opportunity to emphasize that it harbors no hidden agenda and that the Algiers Accord was reached in response to a call from the government in Bamako in 2015.

Algeria’s stance underscores its commitment to regional stability and non-interference, while simultaneously navigating the complex dynamics of Sahelian geopolitics. As the security landscape continues to evolve, Algeria remains vigilant in safeguarding its interests and promoting peace and stability in the region.

Soukaina Sghir

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