Abstract. Post-September 11th, with its load of upheaval in international law (weakening of state prerogatives, monopoly of warlike operations, consensus on border violations for real or alleged humanitarian offenses), hostilities have exacerbated and increased instability of the already weak countries in the area, now even more dependent than before on decisions and actions of the great global players or non-state actors their emissaries. Many analysts glimpse in the new regional policies the danger of a neo-colonialism in the guise of a soft power whose purpose is still functional to the interest of external institutional and economic subjects. Despite set out intentions, G5 Sahel seems focused only on anti-terrorism and security coordination goals, yet, than on socio-economic development.
The “expansive” policies in the Sahel by global and neighbouring regional powers draw the following framework: Russia hired a new role of intervention and mediation; China accepted a role of persuasion (rather than imposition), always under UN auspices and with the consent of regional and national bodies; Algeria, which has always hold an averse stance to military interventions, and Morocco, which has shown an excellent ability to mobilize financial resources, are in competition for hegemony over the area. Yet another front of interference consists of imported religious movements that are accused of being the “longa manus” of foreign countries and find an easy shore in the Tuareg’s and Arab’s claims.
The US seems directing its political actions towards strengthening military programs in the region to defend its mainly energy interests. The EU acts according to the defence of certain values it considers to export (democracy, human rights and the rule of law), establishing a real form of pressure aimed at enforcing political reforms in exchange for conditional economic aid. It weighs on French actions the legacy of Françafrique, i.e. the neo-colonial policy put in place after the season of independences. In the Sahel shadows the real motivations of the frequent military interventions justified by humanitarian or conflict prevention reasons still stands on. It seems evident the Sahel instability and political dependence cannot be overturned only by military-based policies.
Architect, independent scholar of Political Islam, writer, director and manager of the website www.islamicworld.it.