Tag Archives: Sahel

EU determined to support Mali in counterterrorism

Mali headquarters of an international counterterrorism task force, G5 Sahel, were attacked on Friday in a car bomb blast, killing six people and leaving many injured, according to officials. “Shortly after Friday prayers, a suicide bomber in a vehicle painted with UN colours blew up at the entrance to the G5 base in Sevare. It was a huge blast,” a military source in the G5 Sahel force told press.

The terrorist attack that has just hit the headquarters of the G5 Sahel regional force in Sévaré, central Mali is directly directed against all those who pledge to bring peace and stability to Mali and the Sahel” –  says the Joint statement by EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini and European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica.

The European Union offers its condolences and expresses its support for the families of the victims, the Malian government and the G5 Sahel countries.As emphasized at the EU / G5 Sahel Ministerial meeting on 18 June, we reiterate with renewed determination our full support for the Joint Force of the Sahel and our commitment to support the efforts of Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Chad, as well as the entire international community, for the peace, security and development of these countries and the region“, – the statement concludes.

 

Buhari blames unnamed politicians for massacre in Plateau State

After violent clashes in central Nigeria between Muslim herders and Christian farmers, occuring during weekend media is citing police informing that 86 people were killed. The growing conflict between two groups has become deadlier than Nigeria’s Boko Haram extremist insurgency.

Following the massacre Nigeria’s president in a statement accused unnamed politicians of taking advantage of the chaos ahead of next year’s elections, calling it “incredibly unfortunate.”

Dramatic footage showed people in rage waving machetes and sticks and shouting at passing security forces as they weaved around overturned and burning vehicles.

President Muhammadu Buhari warned against reprisal attacks after the “deeply unfortunate killings across a number of communities”, while the military, police and counterterror units were sent to end the bloodshed. “No efforts will be spared” to find the attackers, Buhari vowed.

Nigeria’s government said “scores” were killed but did not announce a death toll. The independent Channels Television cited a Plateau State police spokesman, Mathias Tyopev, as saying 86 people had been killed, with at least 50 houses destroyed.

Nigeria has a population of 180 million with 87 million people living in extreme poverty. Since 1999, farmer-herder violence has killed thousands of people and displaced tens of thousands more. It followed a trend in the increase of farmer-herder conflicts throughout much of the western Sahel.

EU to reinforce counter-terrorism efforts in Mali

From 26 to 28 March, European External Action Service Deputy Secretary General Pedro Serrano and EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove led a high-level visit Mali to enhance cooperation on counter-terrorism issues, says the text of the EEAS statement.

The mission gave the opportunity to evaluate and advance EU counter-terrorism efforts in Mali, by combining work done under the Common Security and Defence Policy, in the area of Justice and Home Affairs and through development cooperation.

They had exchanges with Prime Minister Mobido Keita and ministries in charge of foreign affairs, defence, security, justice and home affairs, economy and religious affairs. They also met with civil society and representatives from partner countries. Deputy Secretary General Serrano held meetings with the EU civilian and military missions, EUCAP Sahel Mali and EUTM Mali, including the Regional Coordination Cell which aims at supporting cross-border cooperation within the Sahel. He also visited the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission (MINUSMA) and Operation Barkhane. A visit to Mopti/Sevare gave the opportunity to assess on the ground the EU’s stabilisation efforts in the region and to share views with the G5 Sahel Joint Force Commander and local authorities.

The European Union remains committed to supporting Mali in its efforts to achieving peace, social cohesion and development for the whole country, to the benefit of the wider Sahel region.

EU pledges more than  €400 million for Sahel

The International High Level Conference on the Sahel, co-chaired today by the European Union, the United Nations, the African Union and the G5 Sahel group of countries -Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, – has mobilised political support for the Sahel region, €414 million to support the Joint security Force of the G5 Sahel whilst reinforcing the coordination of sustainable development efforts in the region.

Sahel presser

“Instability has many factors so our response must be linked and ambitious. Security and development must go hand in hand – on the occasion, President Jean-Claude Juncker said.  “To do so, we must continue to mobilise all the instruments we have at our disposal. The EU has doubled its support to €100 million to reinforce the operationalisation of the G5 Sahel Joint Force and I am proud that all our friends and partners of the Sahel joined us in these efforts.”

Key decisions of the High Level Conference:

  • Reinforced political support to the region: A Joint Communiqué was adopted, reaffirming support to assist the G5 countries in bringing greater stability to the region. Important support was given to the Mali peace process: those that threaten the process can face sanctions.
  • Increased financial assistance for security: the EU doubled its funding to the G5 Sahel Joint Force to €100 million, which aims to improve regional security and fight terrorism. The EU and its Member States together contributed to half of the international support of the Joint Force. This new funding fully meets the needs of the Joint Force and gives it the means to improve security conditions in the region.
  • Better coordination of development efforts: with €8 billion in development aid over 2014-2020, the EU is the biggest donor to the G5 Sahel countries. The EU will play a leading role in the Alliance for the Sahel launched in July 2017. This new initiative aims to coordinate and deliver aid quicker and more efficiently in the most fragile regions and is open to all the partners of the international community.

The EU uses all its tools to support development efforts in the region, notably the ‘EU Emergency Trust Fund for stability and addressing root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa’ under which €843 million has been committed so far. The EU is also a member and key supporter of the newly formed Alliance for the Sahel, set up recently to coordinate existing EU and Member States development assistance better and faster in the region.

In 2014, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger set up the “G5 Sahel” group of countries to foster close cooperation in the region and tackle the major challenges that these countries face – from extreme poverty, terrorism or trafficking of human beings, which has potential spill-over effects outside the region. Since then, the EU has stepped up cooperation with this African-led initiative to build a strong partnership on many fronts: from political dialogue, to development and humanitarian support, to strengthening security and tackling irregular migration.

The EU is itself a key security player in the region, with its 3 active Common Security and Defence Policy missions: EUCAP Sahel NigerEUCAP Sahel MaliEU training mission (EUTM) in Mali.

Brussels conference on Sahel

On 23 February 2018, the European Commission is hosting the International High Level Conference on the Sahel in Brussels, with the African Union, the United Nations and the G5 Sahel group of countries, to strengthen international support for the G5 Sahel regions.

Federica Mogherini introduction in French:

 

In 2014, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger set up the “G5 Sahel” group of countries to foster close cooperation in the region and tackle the major challenges that these countries face. Since then, the EU has stepped up cooperation with this African-led initiative to build a strong partnership on many fronts: from political dialogue, to development and humanitarian support, to strengthening security and tackling irregular migration.

The Sahel region faces a number of pressing challenges such as extreme poverty, frequent food and nutrition crises, conflict, irregular migration and related crimes such as human trafficking and migrant smuggling. Violent extremism also poses a serious security challenge to the region and has potential spill-over effects outside the region, including Europe.

French soldiers killed in Mali

“This morning two French soldiers lost their lives, and a third was wounded in Mali. The European Union extends its sincere condolences to the families of the victims and to France. We reiterate our support for the French forces of Operation Barkhane for their efforts in favor of the security of Mali and the Sahel region”

“The European Union will continue to work alongside the Sahel countries and the international community to support the peace, stability and development of Mali and the entire Sahel region, particularly in the framework of the G5 Sahel initiative” – says the statement of the European External Action Service.

ORIGINAL: Ce matin deux soldats français ont perdu la vie, et un troisième a été blessé au Mali.

L’Union Européenne présente ses sincères condoléances aux familles des victimes et à la France. Nous réitérons notre soutien aux forces françaises de l’Opération Barkhane pour leurs efforts en faveur de la sécurité du Mali et de la région du Sahel. L’Union Européenne continuera à travailler aux côtés des pays du Sahel et de la communauté internationale pour soutenir la paix, la stabilité et le développement du Mali et de toute la région du Sahel, notamment dans le cadre de l’initiative G5 Sahel.

#Sahel: EU high level conference

The conference, co-chaired by the European Union, the United Nations, the African Union and the G5 Sahel, will focus on strengthening much-needed international support to Africa’s Sahel countries in the areas of security and development, notably through the G5 Sahel Joint Force. It will gather Heads of State and Government from the European Union and the G5 Sahel countries (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger) as well as high level attendance from other participating countries.

 

  •          The EU is a strong political partner of the G5 Sahel countries. High Representative Vice President Federica Mogherini has held annual meetings with G5 Sahel Foreign Ministers to strengthen cooperation in areas of shared interest such as security, migration, counter-terrorism, youth employment, humanitarian response and long-term development
  •          The EU, together with its Member States, is the biggest provider of development assistance to the region with over €8 billion over 2014-2020 and uses all its tools to support development efforts in the region, notably the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, to tackle the root causes of instability and irregular migration and create opportunities for youth. The EU is also member of the Alliance for the Sahel, set up to better coordinate development assistance in the region.
  •          The EU is itself a key security player in the region, with its 3 active Common Security and Defence Policy missions; EUCAP Sahel Niger: EUCAP Sahel Mali: EU training mission (EUTM) in Mali.
  •          The EU supports concrete regional led security initiatives. The EU has already provided an initial €50 million to establish the African led G5 Sahel Joint Force which aims to improve
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