November 8, 2011
Towards Regional Security Cooperation in North and West Africa: Mali, Mauritania, and Niger

On Tuesday, November 8th, the Atlantic Council’s Michael S. Ansari Africa Center hosted a luncheon roundtable. The discussion, moderated by Center director J. Peter Pham, featured remarks from H.E. Soumeylou Boubèye Maïga, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Mali; H.E. Aminata Djibrilla Maïga Touré, Counselor to the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Niger; and H.E. Mohamed Lemine El Haycen, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania to the US.

The discussion focused on the strategic situation of North and West Africa, including the probable spillover effects of the Libyan crisis, which has sent an increased flow of arms and fighters across borders and heightened security risks across the region, already threatened by terrorist groups like al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and Boko Haram as well as plagued by trafficking flows. Following the remarks by the three diplomats, the discussion was opened up to participants, who focused on top security priorities and opportunities for regional cooperation as well as the need for economic development and investment.