West Africa - SahelBlog AnalysisMissions Operations

Mali: we do not plan but we study options. Subtle shade...

(BRUSSELS2) The “27” decided at the informal Defense Council to monitor the situation in Mali very closely. Even if General Klotz, deputy spokesperson for the French Ministry of Defense, denied last week that “planning was underway” at the French level, the European Union is preparing a response.

Thus during the last informal meeting of Defense Ministers, in Nicosia, several ministers expressed their “concern”. And this is reflected in the press release published at the end of the meeting: “ the ministers express their concern about the security and political situation in Mali ». A first round of discussions was held to determine which countries would be able to provide support for such an operation. Aside from France, Belgium has expressed its availability to send instructors and trainers to the field.

An options paper for mid-October?

The development of “options” to support the effort of the international community is therefore more relevant than ever. The crisis management structures of the European Diplomatic Service (EEAS) were therefore officially asked to work on the issue. With a relatively short deadline. Since this issue will be on the agenda of the Council of Foreign Ministers on October 15. The options paper is one of the stages of planning... It is true that this takes place at the European level and not at the French level, so we are playing with words.

However, there will still be many weeks before a deployment in the field. In general, it takes 3-4 to 6 months between top political start and deployment in the field » recalls an expert who followed the deployment of the mission in Chad. " After having defined the needs, it is necessary to obtain the green light at the national level - from the Council of Ministers and/or Parliament very often - and to recruit the various personnel ».

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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