5 Things to Know About France and the Sahel region [fr]
The Sahel region is an area as large as Europe and where more than 50% of the population lives below the poverty threshold. Many countries are facing the rise of the terrorist threat and organized crime. Faced with these challenges, France is fully engaged in the Sahel region in terms of politics, security and development.
France is part of the international mediation that supports the peace and reconciliation agreement in Mali. Signed in 2015 in Algiers, this agreement marks an important step towards the conclusion of a global and inclusive agreement for a lasting peace in Mali.
On a bilateral as well as on European level and in the UN framework, France is resolutely engaged in the fight against terrorism in Mali and in the Sahel region, in particular through the French operation Barkhane, alongside the G5 Sahel joint force. This operation aims at enabling the States of the region to acquire the capacity to ensure their security autonomously.
In 2017, at France’s initiative, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolutions 2359 and 2391 on the deployment of the G5 Sahel Joint Force. Created in 2014 by 5 States of the Sahel (Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Chad), this cross-border joint force aims to fight against terrorism and transnational criminal networks in the Sahel region. France is particularly committed to collective mobilization to support this regional force.
The effort made for the security of the region will be short-lived if it is not accompanied by a sustainable development effort. To create the conditions for economic development in the Sahel region, the Sahel Alliance was launched under Franco-German impetus on 13 July 2017, in Paris. The Alliance aims at strengthening the coordination of actions from different donors on the ground to develop the stabilization and development of these countries. It now has 9 members: France, Germany, the European Union, the Bank Development Program, the United Nations Development Program, the World Bank, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.
At the Security Council, France is "penholder" on Mali and MINUSMA, a peacekeeping operation whose mandate focuses on priority tasks such as support for the implementation of the peace agreement, protection of civilians or support for the restoration of state authority throughout the country. MINUSMA is also one of the first peacekeeping operations in terms of manpower and budget. It plays a key role for the stabilization of Mali.