EU to reinforce cross border cooperation in the Sahel

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BRUSSELS, Belgium

The European Union (EU) wishes to reinforce its regional approach in the Sahel region of Africa with the aim of supporting cross-border cooperation, and regional cooperation structures.

In support of the G5 countries, the EU council decided to make its work of common security and Defense policy (CSDP) more effective at the regional level.

“The EU wants to reinforce its regional approach in the Sahel with the aim of supporting cross-border cooperation, regional cooperation structures, and, in this context, of enhancing national capacities of the G5 Sahel countries. Stability in the Sahel region is also key for European security.” It emphasized

 EU said that it will support the G5 in its continued fight against terrorism, organized crime and any other threat to security and peace in Niger and Mali.

The Council also approved a joint civil-military concept of operations on regionalization of CSDP action in the Sahel

“The council has approved a joint civil-military concept of operations on regionalisation of CSDP action in the Sahel. This means that the process of regionalisation will now enter its second phase.” It added

In 2017, the Council agreed to set up the first phase of the regionalisation of CSDP missions in the Sahel. The council saw the birth of a regional coordination cell (RCC) based within one of the EU civilian missions, EUCAP Sahel Mali.

The established cell included a network of internal security and defence experts, deployed in Mali but also in EU delegations in other G5 Sahel countries (Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad).

Today, the Council agreed on the second phase of regionalization and it will be renamed the regional advisory and coordination cell (RACC)”

The cell will have a command and control structure that will move from Bamako to Nouakchott and its network of CSDP security and defence experts, embedded within EU delegations in the five countries, will be enlarged.

Further states the council, the regional advisory and coordination cell (RACC) will support, through strategic advice, the G5 Sahel structures and countries, in synergy with Commission-funded programmes and in an integrated approach perspective.

Filled with a semi arid climate, the Sahel region stretches across north Africa and the Sudanian Savanna to the south.