Irene Horejs, Boubacar Haidara & Bart Ouvry: WHAT NEXT IN CENTRAL SAHEL - A deep dive into the Crisis
Manage episode 367373799 series 3442209
Irene Horejs in conversation with Boubacar Haidara and Bart Ouvry
WHAT NEXT IN CENTRAL SAHEL
A deep dive into the Crisis
The central Sahel — Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger — has changed dramatically since the armed insurgencies that emerged in northern Mali in 2012. Despite the initial success of counterterrorism operations led by France and the force of five neighbouring countries (G5 Sahel), despite the UN Peace keeping mission MINUSMA and the EU military training mission in Mali, integrated also by the Austrian army – the deterioration in security has been worse than anything experienced by the region in recent times. Aggressive extremist organizations, community-based armed groups, and criminal gangs have proliferated and serious human rights violations, including by security services and civilian deaths have reached staggering levels.
In 2021 and 2022, the army took power in both Mali and Burkina Faso prompting harsh reactions by the West and the organisation of West African States ECOWAS. Mali´s new leaders reacted by requesting the withdrawal of French troops, tightening operating conditions for MINUSMA and engaging with Russia for military support through the Wagner group. Since August 2022, France relocated its military operation to Niger and EU countries reduced their presence in the EUTM.
How can these developments be explained? What were the short comings of the peace agreement mediated in 2015 by neighbouring countries, the African Union, the UN and the EU? What happened to the EU “comprehensive stabilization strategy for the Sahel”? What is the way forward for the EU in this new context?
Welcome: Georg Lennkh, Former Austrian Special Ambassador for Africa
Boubacar Haidara, Senior Researcher at the Bonn International Centre for Conflict Studies
Bart Ouvry, Ambassador and Head of the EU Delegation to Mali (until April 2023)
Günther Barnet, Department for Regional Cooperation with Africa and the Middle East, Austrian Ministry of Defense
Irene Horejs, Former EU Ambassador to Niger and Mali