1. On 18 June 2018, the High Representative and Vice-President of the European Union (HRVP), Federica Mogherini, and the European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, in the presence of the European Union Special Representative in the Sahel, Angel Losada, of the one part, and
the Foreign Ministers of the G5 Sahel countries, Kalla Ankouraou (Republic of Niger and President of the G5 Sahel Council of Ministers), Alpha Barry (Burkina Faso), Tiéman Hubert Coulibaly (Republic of Mali), Ismael Ould Cheikh Ahmed, (Islamic Republic of Mauritania) and Mahamat Zene Cherif (Republic of Chad), in the presence of the Permanent Secretary of the G5 Sahel, Maman Sambo Sidikou, of the other part,
held a meeting in Brussels.
During this Ministerial meeting, and following on from the International High-Level Conference on the Sahel of 23 February 2018, the parties adopted the following communiqué:
4. Recalling that organised crime, illegal trafficking and irregular migration are at the heart of the security, governance and development challenges in the Sahel, the two parties decided to intensify their cooperation in the fight against these phenomena, the effects of which are destabilising the countries of the region and their populations. In this regard, they agreed to enter into broad consultations with the Member States of the G5 Sahel, through its Permanent Secretariat, to determine the best forms of interaction and coordination. This action will continue in close coordination with other key partners such as ECOWAS, the African Union and the United Nations.
5. The two parties welcomed the progress made by the Government of Mali, within the framework of the implementation of the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation, which emerged from the Algiers process. They strongly encouraged all stakeholders to speed up the full application of the Agreement, including Article 29, by recalling that the efforts to restore peace in Mali are closely linked to the fight against terrorism and organised crime. The possible recourse to sanctions under UN Security Council Resolution 2374 (2017) was therefore invoked in this context.
6. On security, the two sides welcomed the progress made by the G5 Sahel Joint Force. However, they called on the partners present at the International High-Level Conference on the Sahel last February to implement the commitments announced and allow the Joint Force to reach its full operational capacity as soon as possible. They urged partners to maintain and renew their support in order to ensure the Joint Force’s long-term viability.
The two parties welcomed the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2391, in particular the establishment of the Support Group and the Joint Force Trust Fund in the G5 Sahel and the work of the coordination hub founded by the EU to coordinate Joint Force contributions. In this regard, they saw placing the G5 Sahel Trust Fund on an operational footing as the priority. The parties also stressed the importance of supporting the Sahel Security College, the Defence College and the Regional Police Academy of the G5 Sahel.
7. Mindful of the scale of the security challenges facing the region, the European Union plans to continue supporting the cross-border efforts of the G5 Sahel countries in the fight against terrorism and illicit trafficking. The parties roundly condemn all acts of terrorism that threaten international and regional peace and security and welcome other initiatives to mutualise efforts to combat terrorism and illicit trafficking in the subregion.
8. Within this framework, both sides welcomed the ongoing strengthening of the EU’s security and defence policy interventions in the Sahel (including EUTM Mali, EUCAP Sahel Mali and EUCAP Sahel Niger) in order to step up support for the G5 Sahel Joint Force throughout its regional sphere of operations.
9. Recognising the importance of the link between the G5 Sahel Joint Force and the local populations, the two parties welcomed the fact that the framework for compliance with human rights and international humanitarian law, adopted at the Conference of 23 February, is entering its operational phase in order to be integrated into the G5 Sahel Joint Force’s practices. Moreover, the two parties pledged to support other initiatives to consolidate trust between local populations and the Joint Force’s various components. Both sides also welcomed the progress made by the G5 Sahel on gender equality. The introduction of a ‘Women’s Platform’ within the Sahel G5 should play a major part in this.
10.The two sides welcomed the political dialogue between the G5 Sahel and the European Union supported by the common roadmap which they will continue to develop in the light of the G5 Sahel’s priorities and concerns.
11.In the field of development, both parties welcomed the work of the G5 Sahel in implementing the Priority Investment Programme, and underlined the importance of providing the G5 Sahel Permanent Secretariat with the necessary means to continue its work. They will cooperate with a view to staging a Round Table in Nouakchott on 6 December. In addition to its already significant financial commitment of EUR 3.9 billion, the European Union will continue to support the efforts of the G5 Sahel countries on development matters, in close coordination with the other international partners.
12. The High Representative and Vice-President of the European Union and the Foreign Ministers of the G5 Sahel countries took the opportunity, at their fourth joint meeting in Brussels, to congratulate the President of the Republic of Niger, His Excellency Issoufou Mahamadou on his proven leadership in his capacity as President of the G5 Sahel. They reiterated the need to continue and step up cooperation with the Economic Community of West African States and the subregion’s other relevant bodies.