Statement by Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on the expanded G5 Sahel summit meeting in N’Djaména (video conference)

16.02.2021 - Speech

Security, stability and development remain our shared goals for the Sahel. Today’s summit allows us to take stock and to renew our commitment.

Over the last year, security forces have made progress against terrorist threats. At the same time, violence continues. We were shocked by the recent terrorist attack against MINUSMA and we wish the wounded soldiers from Togo a speedy recovery.

In this situation, G5 countries should strive for two things: strong security forces that restore and uphold safety – but also efficient public services for their people, particularly in fragile areas.

People need police forces that protect them from crime; civil engineers who repair roads and water supply lines; and judges who work without bribes.

That is what we mean when we call for a “civilian surge” today.

And we are convinced that the Partnership for Security and Stability in the Sahel can play a crucial role in delivering it:

Through this partnership, Germany, together with the United Nations, has set up Regional Stabilisation Facilities for the Lake Chad Basin and the central Sahel region.

We have supported these facilities with 45 million euro so far. They enable state authorities to return to areas in which the security situation has improved.

We are also helping G5 partners bring back police to fragile areas. Recently, Germany has joined Sweden in supporting the United Nations COSED programme in Burkina Faso with 20 million euro.

We are working with the International Organization for Migration and other agencies to enhance community cohesion in border areas, and to set up Integrated Border Management.

And we will support international efforts to counter radicalisation and extremism, for example through a new regional German Information Centre in Bamako.

Today, we encourage other donors and partners to join these efforts.

But the key to success lies with the G5 governments:

Please, continue your work for good governance and the fight against corruption and impunity. And let us redouble our efforts to protect human rights.

Thank you.

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