BRUSSELS, 26-Jul-2018 — /EuropaWire/ — Following the deadly attack against the headquarters of the G5 Sahel Joint Force in Sévaré in Mali, on 29 June, the EU has decided to finance in full the rebuilding of a new headquarters and to continue its support in order to ensure the operational continuity of the Force’s staff on the ground.
This decision follows close consultation between the Commander of the Force and the ‘EUTM’ European military mission in Mali, the French Defence Cooperation and the forces of ‘Operation Barkhane’. The EU will continue this consultation work with the new Commander of the Force as soon as he takes up his post.
High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini said: ‘The EU is the first partner of the G5 Sahel. The attack against the headquarters of the G5 Sahel Joint Force in Mali is also an attack against our joint priority of restoring peace in the region. We have therefore decided to fully support the rebuilding of the headquarters in Sévaré in Mali, thereby confirming our firm commitment, side by side with the G5 countries, to enable institutions to fully control their territories and tackle terrorism and trafficking in human beings, arms and drugs. Guaranteeing the security and development of the region is also an investment in our own security.’
These decisions follow on from the EU/G5 Sahel ministerial meeting in Brussels on 18 June, chaired by Federica Mogherini and the Nigerien Foreign Minister, Kalla Ankourao, and from the International High-Level Conference on the Sahel in February, at which the European Union provided support to the Joint Force to the tune of EUR 100 million. The main shared objectives of the Union and the G5 Sahel are the stability and development of the countries in the region, better management of the border areas and combating the trafficking that is rife in those areas.
In 2014 Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger created the ‘G5 Sahel’ group of countries to foster closer cooperation and address the major regional challenges faced by these countries, in particular extreme poverty, terrorism and trafficking in arms, drugs and human beings.
With EUR eight billion in development aid over 2014-2020, the EU is the biggest donor to the G5 Sahel countries.
The EU uses all the tools at its disposal to support development efforts in the region, notably the ‘Emergency Trust Fund for stability and addressing root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa’, under which EUR 843 million has been committed so far to support additional projects to bolster security, governance, job creation and the resilience of the communities affected in key areas of Mali and the region.
The EU is a crucial player in the security sector in Mali and the Sahel region through the presence of three Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions: EUCAP Sahel Niger (training and advice to help the security forces in Niger tackle terrorism and organised crime), EUCAP Sahel Mali (training and advice to the Malian security forces to safeguard the democratic order), and the EU training mission (EUTM) in Mali (support for the instruction and training of command staff in the Malian army).
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SOURCE: European Commission