African Press Organization
2012-07-16 BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, July 16, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Council today gave the green light for a new Common Security and Defence Policy
(CSDP) mission to support the fight against organised crime and terrorism in the Sahel
region: EUCAP SAHEL Niger. Today's decision creates the legal basis for the mission,
which is to kick off in August.
The civilian mission is part of the EU strategy for security and development in the Sahel
and responds to an invitation from the Nigerien government. Activities will initially focus
on Niger, but could be extended to Mali and Mauritania at a later stage.
EU High Representative Catherine Ashton said: "Increased terrorist activity and the
consequences of the conflict in Libya have dramatically heightened insecurity in the Sahel.
The new mission will contribute to strengthening local capacity in fighting terrorism and
organised crime. European experts will train the igerien security forces to improve their
control of the territory and regional cooperation."
The mission will in particular advise the different Nigerien security actors on the
implementation of their security strategy, support regional coordination in the fight against
terrorism and organised crime and assist in developing a penal process based on the rule of
law. The mission will also contribute to identifying projects in the security field that could
be financed from EU assistance. It will not have any executive tasks.
EUCAP SAHEL Niger is initially due to last for two years. A team of around 50
international and 30 local staff will be based in the headquarters of the mission in Niamey
(Niger), with liaison officers in Bamako (Mali) and Nouakchott (Mauritania). .For the first
year, a budget of EUR 8.7 million has been allocated.
The EU strategy for security and development in the Sahel, of which the mission is part,
focuses initially on Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Algeria. It encompasses political,
humanitarian, development dimensions and a strong security component.