G5 Sahel Joint Force: European Strategy Should Go Beyond Counter-terrorism

On the 2 July 2017 the leaders of five Sahelian nations, joined by the French president Macron, officially inaugurated the new regional military operation. Mali and the wider Sahel region should be provided with more support, but is the new counter-terrorist force what is needed?

The latest initiative is supposed to bring stability to the region struggling with the aftermath of the collapse of Malian state in 2012. The 5000 troops of the G5 Sahel joint force (JF-G5S) are to be composed primarily from the nations of the G5 Sahel bloc (Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Chad and Niger) supported with funds, training and equipment provided by the EU, France and potentially other Western states. The force will be tasked with enhancing government control of the border areas in Sahel, strengthening the authority of the respective states and facilitating humanitarian and development operations. The first deployment (of a planned three) is expected to take place in the triborder region of central Mali, western Niger and eastern Burkina Faso, where Jihadist and criminal armed groups recently stepped up their activities. The creation of the new counter-terrorist operation provides an opportunity to curb the¨activity of non-state actors in the sensitive border regions, yet it needs international support and wider perspective on theroots of the local conflicts to ensure sustainable stabilization.

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Jan Daniel je výzkumným pracovníkem Ústavu mezinárodních vztahů a členem Centra evropské bezpečnosti tamtéž. Mezi jeho oblasti zájmu patří například Blízký východ a severní Afrika (Libanon, Sýrie, Alžírsko, Sahel), ozbrojení nestátní aktéři v mezinárodní politice, či mezinárodní intervence a mírové operace.