Yesterday the EU and G5 Sahel countries — Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad - reaffirmed their joint commitment to the security, stability and development of the region. A set of political initiatives and frameworks were further reinforced, such as the Coalition for the Sahel, the Partnership for Security and Stability in the Sahel, and the G5 Sahel Integrated Strategic Framework. In addition, the European Commission announced an additional package of €194 million to support most needed areas, such as defense and security capabilities, provision of basic services throughout the territory, and development efforts.
Fernando Aguiar, Strategic Adviser on Conflict and EU Politics at BIC said “As the COVID-19 pandemic engulfs citizens across continents, the BIC welcomes the EU’s ambition to update its Strategy for Security and Development in the Sahel. The set of initiatives announced during the videoconference are positive steps that could lead to further positive developments for cooperation in the region, which should continue to be an urgent priority given the region’s severe vulnerabilities. However, it is important to stress that while high-level dialogue can lead to progress, the EU must re-focus its assistance towards structural drivers of the Sahel's instability. This should include scaled support for economic governance, regional integration, and local peace-building. Where national level peace processes have stalled, supporting and strengthening local capacities for peace could lead to effective violence prevention and reduction, as well as longer-term resilience.”