Turkey, Iran and Morocco compete for influence in Sahel

Turkey, Iran and Morocco compete for influence in Sahel

Turkey, Iran, and Morocco are maneuvering for a more prominent economic and military role in Africa's Sahel region in the wake of the forced withdrawal of former colonial ruler France. Turkish military gear and Moroccan and Iranian development projects are attractive to financially strained Sahelian military regimes contending with jihadist threats. The French troop pullout created a political vacuum which prompted increased involvement from Russia.

 Turkey, with its sale of combat drones and plans for a trans-Saharan corridor, is positioning itself as an alternative to Europeans and Russia, explains a report from AFP. Turkey faces competition from Morocco which is pledging infrastructure support, emphasizing connectivity to regional transport networks and access to the Atlantic. 

 Iran, employing anti-colonialist rhetoric, has signed numerous cooperation and development agreements with Burkina Faso and Mali as well as other African nations, although there are concerns about its financial ability to fulfill them, according to a French think tank. Meanwhile Iran's increased uranium production raises speculation about its interest in Niger's vast uranium reserves, currently managed by a French company. The Sahel has emerged as a pivotal arena for global influence.

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