G5 Sahel Summit near Paris
Germany supports measures to fight terrorism
Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for a swift start to anti-terror actions in the Sahel Zone. Germany, France and the European Union are supporting this fight. "We cannot afford to wait," declared Angela Merkel, because Islamist terrorism is spreading.
Germany intends to provide logistical and financial support for the "G5 Force Conjointe" anti-terrorist joint intervention force in the Sahel. This is an urgent task, said Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday following a summit on the fight against terrorism in the Sahel Zone. "Islamist terrorism is spreading. We cannot afford to wait. We must begin this fight as swiftly as possible."
French President Emmanuel Macron had invited participants to attend the summit at La Celle-Saint-Cloud Palace near Paris. Their discussions revolved around ways of fighting terrorism and organised crime.
The heads of state and government advocated greater political, financial and military engagement within the framework of regional cooperation in the Sahel. The focus was on support for the joint intervention force G5 Force Conjointe which the G5 Sahel countries decided to establish, and which has the support of Germany and France.
The summit was attended by Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and the Presidents of the five Sahel states (Mauritania, Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso and Mali). The EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki, the Belgian and Italian Prime Ministers and the ministers of foreign affairs of Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates also attended, as did a representative of the USA.
More support for the Force Conjointe
The Chancellor announced that Germany will provide around one billion euros in development assistance to the Sahel states by 2021. But, she said, "this support will be in vain if the people cannot live in safety and security". Germany has an elementary interest in ensuring security in the region, which is a precondition for economic development in the Sahel.
Following the meeting, Emmanuel Macron pushed for a rapid extension of the joint intervention force, which is to be deployed in the Sahel border regions to counter terrorist groups and tackle organised crime. He welcomed the involvement of more countries in the initiative. Saudi Arabia alone intends to contribute about 100 million dollars, he announced.
In June the EU announced that it would provide 50 million euros to establish the joint intervention force. It is also supporting Niger’s economic and social development plan for 2017 – 2020. The European Commission has adopted new programmes for the Sahel region and the Lake Chad region to be funded from the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.
The French President underlined the holistic approach being adopted to resolve transnational challenges like terrorist threats, organised crime and a volatile security situation in the region. To this end he called for more support for the civilian Sahel Alliance to complement the G5’s military intervention force, the Force Conjointe.
The G5 Sahel states formed a regional body in 2014 with a view to tackling joint challenges including terrorism and organised crime. At the G5 summit in February 2017 they agreed to establish a joint intervention force (the Force Conjointe). Since April 2017, France and Germany have been supporting the establishment of the G5 Force Conjointe and have coordinated bilateral support projects. With the founding of a coordination unit, the EU has now taken on the role of coordinator.