European Union External Action

The EU supports the security cooperation among the Sahel countries

01/03/2021 - 12:26
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Five Sahel countries work together to address common security challenges. The EU's Regional Advisory and Coordination Cell (RACC), a network of European experts, supports the security and defence cooperation of these five “G5 Sahel” countries’ by initiating and facilitating joint regional activities. The civilian and military CSDP Missions deployed in Mali and Niger play the central role in the concrete implementation of these activities.

The EU's Regional Advisory and Coordination Cell (RACC), a network of European experts, supports the security and defence cooperation of the Sahel countries.


Since 2014, the Sahel countries work together in the framework of the so-called G5 Sahel not only to promote development and growth, but also to counter terrorism and to bring stability and security to the region.


The EU is a steadfast partner: support continues despite the pandemic

“The EU continues to support to the G5 countries’ security cooperation despite the current Corona pandemic”, tells Daniel Grammatico, head of the Regional Advisory and Coordination Cell (RACC). “The growing insecurity in the region demands a steadfast support by international partners.”

One of the main elements of this support is the provision of  security trainings that are tailored to the needs of the G5 Sahel countries and which foster their cross-border security cooperation. These trainings are initiated and facilitated  by EU experts deployed to the region, but feature also international and national partners such as the UN, the French Armed Forces or local security experts”, explains Julien Lepièce, RACC’s Senior Training Advisor. ”Instead of establishing heavy structures we work through a network connecting experts with regional security actors aiming to develop their capacities.”


Providing training on counter-terrorism, forensics and military police

During the last half year, six regional training activities which strengthened knowledge of specialised security techniques but fostered also regional cooperation, were initiated and facilitated by the RACC:

- In September-October 2020, the RACC worked in close coordination with the military EU Training Mission Mali (EUTM) in the preparation and delivery of the pre-deployment training to the staff of the G5 Sahel Joint Force HQ (PCIAT) staff, together with the Sector Commanders and some Sector HQ officers. The training programme, with the duration of two and a half weeks, was held at the École de Maintien de la Paix in Bamako. The RACC was responsible for organising the presentations by the Defence and Security Bureau of the G5S Permanent Secretariat, the G5S Defence College, the Comité de Soutien and the Plateforme de Coordination en Matière de Sécurité (PCMS). The RACC has also worked with the technical implementing operator and through its regional networks with the respective Armed Forces HQs.

- In October 2020, a training on forensics was delivered by the civilian EUCAP Sahel Niger Capacity Building Mission , involving a forensic trainer from the Nigerien security forces to the internal security forces of Mauritania.

- In November – December 2020, the first online training on operational intelligence was conducted by EUCAP Sahel Niger and coordinated with the G5S - Defense and Security Bureau to the benefit of police officers and civilian staff from Burkina Faso, Niger and Mauritania.

- In January 2021, EUCAP Sahel Mali, a civilian Capacity Building Mission trained the Malian military police of the G5S Joint Force of Goma-Coura. With the facilitation of the RACC, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the police advisor of the G5S Joint Force participated in this training.

- In February 2021, EUCAP Sahel Mali experts deliver anti-terror training in Burkina Faso to the benefit of the BSIAT - Brigade Spéciale d’Investigation Anti-Terroriste, a national investigation unit which is part of the G5 Sahel Joint Force police component, in close coordination with the EU-funded project supporting the Police Component of the G5 Sahel.

-              Also in February 2021, at the initiative of the RACC, training on the judicialisation in the field of military operations was carried out at the G5S Defence College for the benefit of altogether 44 trainees. Designed with the support of RACC and headed by G5S Joint Force Police Advisor, this training is a new topic in the Defence College. It enables the trainees, all senior officers called upon to exercise the highest military responsibilities, to understand and integrate judicialisation in the planning and conduct of operations, thus strengthening the fight against impunity.