On 15 April 2014, the Council of the European Union approved the mandate of EUCAP Sahel Mali (Council decision 2014/219/CFSP).
In support of Mali's active efforts to restore state authority, and in close coordination with other international partners, particularly the Delegation of the European Union and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), EUCAP Sahel Mali is providing assistance and advice to the national police, the national gendarmerie and the national guard in the implementation of the security reform set out by the new government, with a view to:
- Improving their operational efficiency
- Re-establishing their respective hierarchical chains
- Reinforcing the role of judicial and administrative authorities with regard to the management and supervision of their missions
- Facilitating their redeployment to the north of the country
Following a strategic review of the mission in 2016 - after the first 18 months in Mali - two main recommendations were made:
- Recommendation 1 to (a) extend the mandate for 24 months & (b) keep the 3 pillars - strategic advice, training and cooperation & coordination
- Recommendation 2 strengthen the mandate to:
- Strengthen the internal security forces' capacity in the fight against terrorism & organised crime
- Support Mali in managing migration flows and border management
- Open up trainings to internal security forces from other G5 Sahel countries if invited by Mali
- Support regionalisation by inserting liaison officers in other G5 Sahel countries
- Progressively deploy advice and training to the regions of Mali
These recommendations were incorporated in renewed mandate that was adopted on 11 January 2017, the Council of the European Union. The renewed mandate extends the Mission until January 2019 and includes a reference to ‘the Accord for Peace & Reconciliation’ and Instructions to contribute to the inter-operability & coordination of the internal security forces of the G5 Sahel countries and the Malian internal security forces.
EUCAP Sahel Mali advises the Malian internal security forces and relevant departments to implement the security sector reform in Mali. The EUCAP advisors help their Malian counterparts to improve their national strategy for human resources, to modernise management practices and control of their services, and with the successfully recruitment of new staff within the Police, the Gendarmerie and the National Guard.
- a human resources database
- an employment policy and staff management database
- a baseline for staffing
- a skills-based staff recruitment policy
- operational management methods to help restore hierarchical links
- audit and inspection units within the general forces inspectorate
The mission is helping to set up a master plan for training, overhaul initial training (structures and content) and relaunch continuing training.
The EUCAP Sahel Mali experts provide training for the Malian Gendarmerie, Police and National Guard. The ultimate goal is to train a critical mass of the personnel of the internal security forces.
The training will cover subjects such as management and command, professional ethics, human rights and gender equality, intelligence techniques, professional intervention, criminal policing, counter-terrorism and public order. The training is primarily addressed at senior and intermediate staff. Each member of staff will receive individual training lasting 100 hours over 4 weeks.
In order to promote local ownership, the mission will also train trainers who, in turn, will pass on the training outcomes to future trainees. The commanders of the forces select the staff who will take the EUCAP training, with the support of the training advisers.
To fully exploit synergies and the complementary abilities of its partners, EUCAP Sahel Mali works in close collaboration with other international and European players present in Mali and with civil society.
For example, training courses and actions are organised jointly with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and the EUTM Mali military training mission in order to optimise support for the Malian state.
Civil society plays a fundamental role in supporting the reforms decided on by the government and ensuring they are understood by the population. EUCAP supports the contribution of civil society to designing the reforms, and in parallel civil society brings its experience to the implementation of EUCAP’s activities.
EUCAP also intends to cooperate with Parliament through dialogue with the committees involved in modernising the internal security forces, working transparently with the government. EUCAP’s cooperative actions aim to create a spirit of collaboration in order to set common, consistent objectives and maximise the effect of the external support provided to the internal security forces.
Support for stability and security in the Sahel is a priority for the European Union. The growing cooperation between the G5 Sahel countries (Chad, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger), their efforts to achieve a common approach to regional challenges and the need for joint responses create opportunities for enhanced support from the European Union.
The idea of creating the Regional Coordination Cell (RCC) is part of the EU's strategy - through its Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) - to establish security in the Sahel through three strategic objectives:
- supporting cross-border cooperation in the Sahel,
- supporting regional cooperation structures, in particular those of G5 Sahel countries and,
- strengthening the national capacities of the G5 countries
To achieve these objectives, the Council of the European Union has established a regional coordination cell within the EUCAP Sahel Mali, in essence a network one EU expert on internal security and one EU expert on defense in each of the G5 Sahel countries.
Understanding of the EU's JRC mission
In close cooperation with existing CSDP missions in the Sahel, the objectives of the RCC are:
- to contribute to the assessment of the security and defense needs and deficiencies of the G5 Sahel countries relating to regional cross-border co-operation and to the challenges relating to security, with a view to developing a regional CSDP implementation plan that will make recommendations for the next phases;
- facilitate the organization of training by the EU CSDP missions in the Sahel for trainees from the G5 Sahel countries in the field of security and defense.
Internal security and defense experts collect information on security and defense issues in their host countries which they communicate with, where appropriate, recommendations to the head of the RCC.
RCC members will then make recommendations for a regional CSDP implementation plan in the Sahel in conjunction with existing EU Delegations and CSDP missions.