News BlogWest Africa - SahelStabilization - Peace

The EU will finance the reconstruction of the G5 Sahel HQ in Sévaré

(B2) The European Commission announced, Wednesday July 25, that it will finance “ the entire reconstruction » from the HQ of the G5 Sahel joint force, the target of an attack last June. A necessity for Europeans who are counting on the forces of the G5 to take over

The entrance to the Sévaré HQ, before the attack (Credit: Minusma)

The attack on June 29, a car bomb followed by a shooting, claimed by the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM), the main jihadist alliance in the Sahel, linked to Al-Qaeda (read: A Franco-Malian patrol from Barkhane attacked in Gao (V3)), left three dead (two soldiers and one civilian). But above all it had sowed doubt about the capacity of the Malian forces to act and about the leadership of the Force. The commander was quickly dismissed. And a Mauritanian general, Hanena Ould Sidi, appointed to head this Force.

A suicide attack destroying the HQ

As a significant consequence, the suicide attack also destroyed a large part of the G5 Sahel headquarters in Sévaré (central Mali), making it unsuitable for coordinating future operations. In addition to the main entrance, several buildings including accommodation premises were damaged or destroyed.

All reconstruction financed by the EU

It is on this logistical aspect that the European Commission has decided to intervene. "We have decided to fully support the reconstruction of the headquarters in Sévaré, Mali", announced the Commission on Wednesday (July 25). No budget has yet been announced, but the extent of the damage suggests that major reconstruction and security work is necessary. This decision was taken in “ close consultation » with the French of Operation Barkhane, the commander of the G5 Sahel Force and the European military training mission of the Malian army (EUTM Mali), it is specified in Brussels.

Objective: avoid the collapse of the Joint Force

Even before the attack, the operationalization of the Joint Force was called into question (read: The joint force of the G5 Sahel is struggling to set up). The destruction of the HQ reduced the physical capabilities of the force. By financing reconstruction, the EU ensures that it will take place more quickly. It thus supports the continuity of the action of the Force headquarters on site. The European Union " will continue this work of consultation with the new Force Commander as soon as he takes office ».

…and defend European interests

“The attack on the headquarters of the G5 Sahel Joint Force in Mali is also an attack on our common priority of bringing peace to the region,” specifies the head of European diplomacy, Federica Mogherini. This support is a logical extension of the position always affirmed by the Europeans for local forces (read: The 28 renew their support for the G5 Sahel).

Nb: By preventing the Joint Force from disintegrating, the EU also intends to support the investments already made to date. The G5 Sahel being a bet which should allow the Europeans to disengage, at least militarily, from the region.

(Leonor Hubaut)

Read also: G5 Sahel. Europe has not quite kept its promises (Kalla Ankourao)

Leonor Hubaut

© B2 - Bruxelles2 is a French online media that focuses on political Europe (powers, defence, foreign policy, internal security). It follows and analyzes developments in European policy, unvarnished and without concessions. Approved by the CPPAP. Member of SPIIL. Please quote "B2" or "Bruxelles2" in case of recovery Leonor Hubaut is a journalist. Graduated in international relations from the Free University of Brussels (specialization in globalization). She covers for B2 the work of the European Parliament, CSDP missions and African issues. Sahel specialist.