Yesterday (11 January), the Council of the European Union extended the mandate of the EU’s foreign mission EUCAP Sahel Mali for two years, until 14 January 2019. At the same time, the Council also allocated a budget of €29.7 million to the mission until mid-January 2018. The EUCAP Sahel Mali civilian mission works with Mali’s internal security forces, advising them on how to implement the reform in the security sector proposed by the government. The mission also provides training and strategic advice to the Malian police, gendarmerie and national guard, and to relevant ministries, in order to provide support for the security sector reform.
The EUCAP is part of the EU’s comprehensive approach to security and development in the Sahel region. Its objective is to support Mali in ensuring constitutional and democratic order, establishing the conditions for lasting peace and maintaining authority throughout the entire territory. In addition to EUCAP, there are also two other missions underway in the region: EUTM Mali, which helps with the restructuring and reorganization of the Malian Armed Forces through advice and training, and EUCAP Sahel Niger, which supports the fight against organized crime and terrorism in Niger.
EUCAP Sahel Mali was launched on 15 April 2014 and Catherine Ashton, at that time High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said that “EUCAP Sahel Mali is further proof of the EU’s commitment to support reforms in Mali mission. The mission adds to our EUTM military training mission and the broader EU engagement in Mali by supporting the Malian internal security forces with European expertise. EUCAP works towards a lasting solution to the security challenges of Mali.” Since the beginning of the mission, its head has been Mr. Albrecht Conze from Germany, while the headquarters of the mission are located in Bamako, Mali.