EU exchange of views on the security challenges in the Sahel region

This document contains coverage of the exchange of views with Gilles de Kerchove, EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator; Manuel Lopez Blanco, Director, DG Development, European Commission and Cecilia Ruthström-Ruin, Chief, Terrorism Prevention Branch, UNODC, on the security challenges in the Sahel region.

EU delegations have visited the three principal problematic states in the region, Mali, Mauritania and Niger in order to evaluate their needs and to mobilize all instruments at the EU’s disposal, namely the Instrument for Stability (both short and long term mechanisms) and the European Development Fund. Work has progressed in strengthening the capacity of security actors (police, justice and border control) in Mali and Mauritania. Several examples include the setting up of an office in Bamako run by a French NGO with police and justice experts to foster cooperation through database creation and information-sharing and train Malian and Mauritanian security actors. Also, a cell modeled loosely on Spain’s Audiencia Nacional has been established in Nouakchott to counter terrorism and organised crime with trained and specialized judges. Furthermore, the French have committed themselves to strengthening seven border posts in Mauritania.

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