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Thursday, 29 October 2009

EU Council conclusions on Sahel

The 2971st External Relations Council meeting held in Luxembourg on 27 October 2009 expressed its concern over the security situation in parts of the Sahel region, in particular in Mauritania, Mali and Niger. The Council recognized the serious challenges that the governments of the region face and the need for: strengthening the presence of the State, fostering development and good governance, combating trafficking of arms, drugs and persons and addressing the impact of climate change. Recent events indicate that the region runs the risk of becoming a safe haven for terrorist networks and activities. This situation constitutes first and foremost a serious threat to the Sahel region and its population, but also to other regions, including Europe.  In close coordination with the governments of the region and in support of the Sahel States’ efforts to step up their engagement and cooperation to meet these challenges, the EU is developing a comprehensive, regional approach focusing on development, security, good governance, respect for human rights and the rule of law. In this context, the EU encourages a strengthened intra-regional dialogue. The Council stressed the need for urgent action, aimed at reinforcing the capacities of the Sahel States.

Source: European Council