EUCAP Sahel Mali: new Head of Mission appointed
The EU's Political and Security Committee has appointed Philippe Rio, a high-ranking officer in the French gendarmerie, as Head of the EUCAP Sahel Mali mission. He will take up his duties on 1 October 2017.
The EUCAP Sahel Mali mission supports the Malian state in ensuring constitutional and democratic order, establishing the conditions for lasting peace and maintaining its authority throughout the entire territory. EUCAP Sahel Mali comprises a team of advisers and trainers based in Bamako who are working with the internal security forces and at ministerial level to improve the human resources system, reorganise training policies, and give training courses to officers in the sector who show high potential (the 'officers of the future'). Its current mandate runs until 14 January 2019. The headquarters of the mission are located in Bamako, Mali.
Philippe Rio succeeds Albrecht Conze (of German nationality), who had held the post since May 2014.
EUCAP Sahel Mali is part of the EU's comprehensive approach to security and development in the Sahel. Two other CSDP missions are in place in the region: EUTM Mali, which is helping to rebuild effective and accountable Malian armed forces, and EUCAP Sahel Niger, which is supporting the fight against organised crime and terrorism in Niger.
On 20 June 2017, the Council adopted a decision allowing for the regionalisation of CSDP missions in the Sahel. To this end, a regional coordination cell has been established within EUCAP Sahel Mali, comprised of internal security and defence experts in G5 Sahel countries, both in Mali and within the Union delegations to the other G5 Sahel countries, namely Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad.