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Mission in Mali, we are planning! First calendar items

(BRUSSELS2, exclusive *) While foreign ministers will discuss the situation in Mali on Monday (October 15), planning for a possible EU support mission in Mali continues, according to my information. Contacts took place at different levels in Brussels, Abuja (ECOWAS) and Addis Ababa (African Union). The vote on a resolution in the Security Council which validates this planning exercise should now allow the process to emerge more quickly.

Global mission

Three options are on the table and worked on: a training mission (EUTM type), with the establishment of a C2 command (EUTM+ type) and logistical and satellite support in particular (EUTM++). Although the CSDP mission will be military, it would not be the only element of the European presence there. The objective is to integrate it into a larger whole including internal security (immigration, etc.), development aid or humanitarian aid. This variation of the global strategy should give rise to conclusions adopted at the level of Foreign Ministers on October 15, which will outline the common thread for the future mission.

Calendar and first figures

If all goes well, a crisis management concept could then be adopted at the meeting of defense ministers on November 19. The concept of operation and the operation plan should then follow in December-January with the aim of starting the mission early next year, in February. A number of parameters must still be set – this will depend on the choice of option – in particular the size of the mission and its ancillary elements (medical support, protection, airborne assets, etc.). But according to the first elements collected by B2, the mission could include between 200 and 300 trainers, to which must be added the support element.

(*) This article was published on “The B2 Club” premiered for subscribers several days ago.

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).