West Africa - SahelBlog AnalysisMissions Operations

One year of EUTM Mali

(BRUSSELS2) We are continuing our dual approach of tracking down information in the European corridors, analyzing and deciphering the most important points but also going into the field to encounter news that is not is not always the first in the ranks of the media. Leonor Hubaut was thus – at the beginning of March – (re)see the Malian military training mission (EUTM Mali) on the occasion of its first anniversary and the relay ensured between Generals Guibert and General Marc Rudkiewicz (of the Franco Brigade -German) *.

An interesting point because it comes a year after the start of this mission, where I myself had been on site. Readers will thus be able to see first-hand the evolution of this mission. It must be recognized that, at the beginning of 2013, when this mission was launched, it was not without difficulties, in particular in bringing together the necessary personnel (medical support, protection force, etc.). At the time, there were a number of questions about the framework of this mission, the role of Europe, the risk of training the terrorists of tomorrow, even a certain fatalism. Very few believed in its success, some even going so far as to mock these Europeans incapable of doing anything other than training Malians in the rear incapable of fighting and doubting the interest of this training.

A well-established mission

These doubts are now erased. And we must recognize that these criticisms or mockery have fallen silent... The mission, today, is well established, its contours are now better defined, the 4 battalions (Waraba, Elou, Sigi, they balance) were trained within the allotted time frame. Official representatives (Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Czech Republic, etc.) parade in Mali, understanding the interest in being present in this Sahelian zone both to alleviate security risks but also – this must not be denied – for their own interest (immigration, economy, etc.). Not being present in this area when there are difficulties means giving up on the markets of tomorrow.

A bet on the future

On the Malian side, the political system is not yet really stable, but at least stabilized. And the EU is starting a second training mission, intended to complement EUTM Mali, to train security forces. A very significant challenge... Of course, everything is not settled, it remains to train the rest of the Malian army, to ensure the follow-up of this training, to see if in the medium term, the newly structured army will hold up. road, will respect democracy, the rules of conduct of humanitarian law when carrying out operations, will not be tempted (as in the past) to carry out a coup d'état. It is a real bet on the future that the Europeans are attempting. Whatever the outcome, this bet had to be taken.

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

Read our report: EUTM Mali: one year later

See also our report from April 2013 at the start of EUTM Mali: Discovering EUTM Mali

All articles published on the blog on EUTM Mali

* We can thank the team in Bamako of the European mission for their warm and precious welcome.

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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