Meeting in plenary session in Strasbourg, MEPs debated with the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell Europe’s action in the Sahel and its future. They draw up a mixed assessment of the results of European missions over the last ten years.
The involvement of the European Union in the Sahel has not given the expected results in the fight against jihadists, underline the deputies and the head of European diplomacy. According to Josep Borrell, “the corrupt military juntas” that have overthrown elected governments have “neither the means nor the intention” to fight against terrorists.
For the approximately 600 million euros invested over ten years by the European Union in civil and military missions in the Sahel, the results are very meager. “In the last ten years, we have spent 600 million euros on civilian missions and military training in the Sahel. He trained some 30,000 members of the security forces in Mali and Niger, and 18,000 military personnel. And lo and behold, this has not served to strengthen armed forces which support democratic governments, but which overthrow them,” indicated Josep Borrell during a debate at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
However, Josep Borell affirms that we should not overestimate the anti-French, anti-European, anti-Western sentiments expressed in spontaneous gatherings where demonstrators are “often paid to wave anti-European messages”. The Union “must not abandon the Sahel”, underline the Europeans who now want to support above all the efforts of ECOWAS. The Sahel remains a “strategic” region for the security of Europe and the control of migration, he insisted.
This article is originally published on rfi.fr