A Sight on European Defence

Security Situation in Sahel

Some days ago, I published a post on the security situation in Sahel, and the possible role that France could play overthere, in Africa as a substitute of the European Union.

In order to help you make your own opinion on the topic, you will find here below a question asked to the commission by a member of the European Parliament, Mr Oreste Rossi

Question for written answer E-6560/2010

to the Commission

Rule 117

Oreste Rossi (EFD)

Subject: Security guarantees for the Sahel countries

On 7 April 2010 the Thomas More Institute in Brussels presented its new report ‘Towards a sustainable security in the Maghreb: an opportunity for the region, a commitment for the European Union.’ The report examines the threats to lasting security in the Maghreb, which include, in particular, tensions between states, the challenges posed by immigration, and terrorism on the southern side. The report’s authors see cooperation among states and a
Euro-Mediterranean partnership as one of the keys to this long-term security, not only for the Maghreb countries, but for the region as a whole.

The territory of the Sahel, which stretches from the Atlantic Ocean in the southern Maghreb to the Horn of Africa, has today become a major challenge both for the stability of the Maghreb and for public safety in the European Union. It is, in fact, a major transit area for smuggling drugs into Europe, a necessary corridor for migrants and a haven for terrorist groups linked to al-Qaeda which devote themselves to kidnapping western citizens. A broader geographical approach, encompassing the entire area of the Maghreb and Sahel countries, is therefore necessary in order to develop lasting security for the people of the Maghreb and, as a result, for Europeans.

Moreover, NGOs in the area warn that behind the security issues in the Sahel region lies an imminent humanitarian tragedy: Oxfam France believes that over the next few months ten million people are likely to be struck by famine due to the drought in the eastern part of the Sahel.

In the light of the above, can the Commission say what strategy it intends to develop in order to promote regional stability and make EU citizens more secure?

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