EU to launch military training mission in Mali
The EU Training Mission to Somalia, located in Uganda
© EEAS, European Union 2012
The EU remains deeply concerned about the security situation in Northern Mali, which has become a safe haven for terrorists and organised crime. On 10 December, Foreign Affairs Ministers approved the crisis management concept for an EU training mission in Mali (EUTM Mali), with a view to supporting the restoration of territorial integrity and democratic order in the country.
EU High Representative Catherine Ashton said: "We are determined to fully mobilise all the tools we have, in cooperation with our regional and international partners, to help Malians restore the rule of law and re-establish a fully sovereign democratic government with authority throughout the country. European military expertise can contribute significantly to this effort, as part of our wider support to the democratic transition and our humanitarian assistance to deprived populations."
EUTM Mali is set to provide military training and advice to the Malian Armed Forces in order to improve their military capacity and operational effectiveness. It will train Malian battalion groups and help protect civilians and human rights. In addition, the mission will work to improve the functioning of the army's logistical and operational chains of command. It is also set to help the Malian army develop better human resources management and training capacities. It will not be involved in combat actions.
The headquarters of EUTM Mali will be in Bamako, while training is to take place in a dedicated location north-east of Bamako. Initially, the mission's mandate will last 15 months. It is planned to deploy around 200 instructors, as well as mission support staff and a force protection.
This new mission would be part of the EU's comprehensive approach to the crisis in the Sahel region, which comprises development cooperation, humantarian aid, diplomatic action and concrete support to improve the security situation. The EU's Sahel Strategyis based on the idea that development and security are interconnected and can be mutually supportive, and that the complex crisis in the Sahel region requires a regional answer.
European External Action Service: