Belgium: EU strengthens support to security in Mali and Sahel region

Brussels, Belgium (PANA) - The European Council on Tuesday adopted a decision to support the regionalisation of EU Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions in the Sahel region, namely EUCAP Sahel Mali, EUCAP Sahel Niger and EUTM Mali.

According to a statement made available to PANA, the Council decision allows for the establishment of a regional coordination cell based within one of the European Union (EU) civilian missions, EUCAP Sahel Mali.

The regional coordination cell includes internal security and defence experts in G5 Sahel countries, deployed in Mali but also in EU delegations in other G5 Sahel countries, namely Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad.

In a first phase, the regional coordination cell will conduct an assessment of G5 Sahel countries' security and defence needs and gaps with a view to the development of a CSDP regional implementation plan that will make recommendations for any subsequent phase. It will also facilitate the organisation of training courses by the EU CSDP Missions in the Sahel for G5 Sahel countries security and defence trainees.

The Council said the objective of reinforcing a regional approach in the EU work in the region is to support cross-border cooperation in the Sahel and regional cooperation structures, and to enhance national capacities of the G5 Sahel countries.

"The EU supports the efforts of the G5 Sahel countries and will work together against terrorism and any other threat to security and peace," it explained.

On 19 June, the Council adopted conclusions on Mali and the Sahel which, in particular, strongly condemned the terrorist attack of 18 June in Bamako, Mali.

In its conclusions, the Council recalled that the EU has a strong integrated approach towards achieving stabilisation of the region, including a full range of relevant instruments in the field of diplomacy, long-term development cooperation, support to human rights, stabilisation efforts, resilience building, humanitarian assistance, migration management and security, including CSDP missions.
-0- PANA AR 20June2017

20 june 2017 16:26:51

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