In response to the announcement of the withdrawal of the military Barkhane operation and the Takuba forces from Mali, Oxfam's West Africa Regional Director, Assalama Dawalack Sidi said:
"The withdrawal is a terrible admission of their failure to resolve the conflict in the country. Nearly ten years of military operations have changed nothing as the Central Sahel remains plagued by conflict. More than 2.1 million people have had to flee the violence, and 13 million people are currently in need of humanitarian assistance. The military redeployment alone will not solve the conflict unless lessons are learned about the reasons for this failure.
"For several years now, Oxfam has sounded the alarm about the inadequacy of a military approach to the conflict which does not address the root causes of the Sahelian crisis, but to deaf ears. As long as inequality goes unabated, marginalized people will continue feeling frustrated by these injustices, and the Sahel will continue to burn.
"These last few weeks have highlighted the urgency of listening to people's demands, especially marginalized groups, opening spaces for dialogue and ensuring everyone is included in decision making and their right to live in dignity and peace are respected.
"Any new security strategies developed by the region must prioritize the protection of civilians and guarantee humanitarian access, and people's access to basic services in order to facilitate a lasting peace."