Foreign Minister Maas is taking part in a video conference of the International Coalition for the Sahel today. The coalition was launched by France and the five countries of the Sahel region (Alliance G5 Sahel) at the beginning of the year. It is intended to provide a new framework for international engagement in the Sahel. An important part of the coalition will be the Partnership for Security and Stability in the Sahel with a view to strengthening national security forces and state structures in particularly fragile zones.
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement today (12 June) in this regard:
Attacks on security forces and civilians in the Sahel region are now occurring almost daily. This gives us great cause for concern. European security interests are also affected when terrorism and organised crime spread in our neighbourhood. In addition, the humanitarian situation has worsened considerably over the past year. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic is further increasing the pressure on particularly vulnerable population groups.
The International Coalition for the Sahel and the Partnership for Security and Stability are a response to these developments. Together, they form a new framework for international engagement in the Sahel. Our common goal with the Sahel countries is to coordinate international efforts in the security sector in a more targeted manner. We want to train and equip the security forces of the Sahel countries in such a way that they can independently ensure the security of the population and that people’s confidence in the authority and presence of the state grows once again. The coalition is committed to a networked approach consisting of security, stabilisation, humanitarian and development policy measures, because we know that security and development go hand in hand.
The International Coalition for the Sahel was launched at the Pau Summit on 13 January 2020, which was attended by France and the Sahel countries. The coalition has four thematic focuses: fighting armed terrorist groups, building the capacities of the armed forces of States in the region, supporting the return of the State and administrations in the territory, and assisting development. The first meeting of the coalition is to take place on 12 June 2020, bringing together the Sahel G5 countries, the European Union and its Member States, the African Union, the United Nations and other committed partner countries.
The Partnership for Security and Stability in the Sahel (P3S) will be an integral part of the International Coalition for the Sahel and will focus on “building the capacities of the armed forces” and the “return of the State”. The partnership was initiated by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. It was announced at the G7 Summit in Biarritz in August 2019 together with the then chairman of the Sahel G5, President of Burkina Faso Marc Roch Kaboré.
Germany is already fully committed to the Sahel and will lend its active support to the Partnership for Security and Stability in the Sahel. Our efforts to strengthen foreign armed forces with equipment will be closely dovetailed with the provision of training measures. Civilian stabilisation measures are intended to increase our partner governments’ ability to act as well as their credibility and to reduce the radius of operations and the recruitment base of armed groups.