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Thursday, 29 March 2012

EU Strategy to tackle fragility of Sahel region

Last week, ministers adopted conclusions on EU's Strategy for the Sahel region. While in March 2011, the Council welcomed the presentation of a European Union Strategy for Security and Development in the Sahel, ministers are now proposing ways of improving the coherence and effectiveness of EU engagement. In its initial phase,  the Strategy focuses primarily on Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Algeria.
The Council on Foreign Affairs  expressed deep concern about the security situation in the Sahel region and condemned attempts to seize power by force in Mali.  Last week CTA Brussels informed of  suspension of the EU development assistance to Mali. Nonetheless, ministers  have stressed that humanitarian aid and direct support to the population will continue.
The Council invited both the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the Commission to accelerate implementation and to "report regularly on progress". Moreover, ministers announced plans to allocate an additional 164.5 million euros to existing action on food security in the region.
According to the Strategy, security and development have to go hand in hand. The lines of action which have been proposed are the following: development, good governance and internal conflict resolution; political and diplomatic; security and the rule of law; and countering violent extremism and radicalisation.
There have been dramatic changes in the political, security and humanitarian situation in the Sahel region since the Strategy was first presented, confirming the high vulnerability and fragility of the Sahel states. The fragile security situation has been further exacerbated by a deepening food and nutrition crisis affecting 15 million people.

Source: Council of the EU

 

source: Council of the EU