The Coalition for the Sahel

The Coalition

The Coalition for the Sahel was announced at the Pau Summit on 13 January 2020 by the Heads of State of France, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, in the presence of the United Nations Secretary-General, the President of the European Council, the European Union High Representative, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission and the Secretary General of La Francophonie.

Read the press conference and joint statement by heads of State.

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Pau Summit ©HL.Hablin/AFP From left to right: Josep Borrell, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, António Guterres, UN Secretary-General, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, President of Mali, Louise Mushikiwabo, Secretary General of La Francophonie, Roch Kaboré, President of Burkina Faso, Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic, Mahamadou Issoufou, President of Niger, Mohamed Ould El-Ghazouani, President of Mauritania, Idriss Déby, President of Chad, Charles Michel, President of the European Council and Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission

Find out more about the G5 Sahel.

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Providing a more collective and inclusive response to the Sahel crisis

The gravity of the crisis in the Sahel, the sense of urgency, and the importance of the needs require stronger, more inclusive action. This is the goal of the Coalition for the Sahel. The aim is to provide a more collective response to the challenges of the Sahel region by pooling the work undertaken by the G5 Sahel States and their international partners. Together they form a community of shared interests in accordance with the values and norms of the United Nations. It is not a substitute for existing decision-making processes.

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The Coalition for the Sahel aims to facilitate the coordination and interaction between the various dimensions of international action to support the G5 Sahel countries. The aim is to ensure coherent action at the regional level, encompassing all levers and actors involved in the Sahel, including on security, political and development issues.

Download the Coalition’s presentation in pdf format : available in English, French, German and Spanish.

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What is the Coalition for the Sahel ?

The founding events

On 28 April 2020, the European Union and the G5 Sahel countries, with the support of the United Nations and the African Union, reaffirmed their joint commitment at the highest level for the security, stability and development of the Sahel. The President of the European Council and the G5 Sahel Heads of State launched the Coalition for the Sahel and called for the Coalition to be expanded to include other international partners. They underlined the importance of the measures envisaged in the four pillars of the Coalition and the need for a comprehensive and coordinated approach bringing together short and long term actions.

Read the Joint Statement of the European Council members with G5 Sahel Member States made following the videoconference of 28 April 2020.

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Charles Michel, President of the European Council :

« Today we agreed to continue to work together with our #G5Sahel partners to fight terrorism for the security, stability and peace of the region. It’s important to convince other international partners to join the Coalition for Sahel announced during our meeting in Pau. »

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The 4 pillars

A Coalition based on
4 complementary pillars

In the context of a challenging security and humanitarian situation, this initiative offers a new framework for international action in collaboration with the G5 Sahel and its Executive Secretariat, across four complementary pillars which each have different leads.

  • 1

    Fight against terrorism

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  • 2

    Strengthening the capabilities of the G5 Sahel states’ armed forces

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  • 3

    Support for the return of the State and administrations in the territory

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  • 4

    Development assistance

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  • 1
    1 Fight against terrorism

    The aim of this pillar is to fight against armed terrorist groups by coordinating all of the efforts led by the African armies and the G5 Sahel Joint Force with the partners – Barkhane, MINUSMA, Takuba Task Force – with priority given to the Three-Borders region (Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso).

    Faced with a challenging security situation and the possibility of the threat expanding beyond the borders of the G5 Sahel countries, the aim is to create the conditions required for stabilization and development work.

    Learn more about the work carried out by some actors to fight against terrorism in the Sahel:

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    Operation Barkhane on a joint operation – Fama © Etat-major des Armées français
  • 2
    2 Strengthening the capabilities of the G5 Sahel states’ armed forces

    The Partnership for Security and Stability in the Sahel (P3S), initiated by France and Germany during the G7 Summit in Biarritz in August 2019, aims to identify security needs and increase efforts in the fields of defence and internal security.

    Within the framework of the P3S, the Coalition’s second pillar aims to coordinate all the defence capacity building actions for G5 countries, and in particular all of the offers of training and equipment for national armed forces and the G5 Sahel Joint Force, including armed forces responsible for police missions.

    The European Union is supporting the G5 Sahel, particularly through the “African Peace Facility” and the EUTM Mali military training and strategic advice mission (the mandate of which has been renewed for four years beyond 18 May 2020). The strategic review of EUTM Mali helped strengthen the mission’s work in central Mali particularly by supporting trained troops on tactics and extending the geographic scope of the mission to the entirety of the G5 Sahel with particular emphasis on Burkina Faso and Niger.

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    Handover of equipment to the G5 Sahel joint force by Expertise France on 31/03/2020 in Bamako, in the presence of EUTM Mali, financed by the European Union ©Expertise France
  • 3
    3 Support for the return of the State and administrations in the territory

    In the framework of the effort to identify the priority needs of the Partnership for Security and Stability in the Sahel (P3S), this pillar aims to coordinate all available training and equipment for national internal security forces (police, gendarmerie, national guard) and the G5 Sahel Joint Force’s provost marshals. The aim is to help bolster the sovereign function of the State. Enhancing the State’s presence also entails rebuilding the legal capacities and local administration of the G5 countries, with priority for the most fragile areas.

    The European Union is supporting Pillar 3 through the Emergency Trust Fund, the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP) and EU civilian missions (EUCAP Sahel Niger and Mali) and the MINUSMA through the police component.

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    • Classroom in Gossi, Mali © French Crisis and Support Centre
  • 4
    4 Development assistance

    The fourth pillar aims to respond to challenges regarding employment, poverty, education, healthcare and infrastructure in Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad.

    Development assistance is currently coordinated through two main bodies: the G5 Sahel, a cooperation framework created in 2014, and the Sahel Alliance, launched on 13 July 2017 by France, Germany and the European Union aimed at coordinating the work of international donors.

    International contributions are mainly delivered by the Sahel Alliance (13 members, over 800 projects for €11.6 billion with a disbursement rate estimated at 29% in 2019), in connection with the G5 Sahel Executive Secretariat. The Executive Secretariat helps to identify activities, ensure good coordination between actions and distribute roles and/or geographical areas. It therefore guarantees the overall effectiveness of development work, in coherence with the political, security and military aspects.

    Find out more about the Sahel Alliance.

    Under a strategic partnership with the G5 Sahel, the members of the Sahel Alliance are implementing several Priority Investment Programmes (PIP), including an Emergency Development Programme in fragile cross-border areas. The members of the Sahel Alliance represented €1.8 billion, including €266 million to fund the Emergency Development Programme with a focus on three priority sectors: access to water, strengthening resilience and supporting social cohesion. These actions also contribute to the third pillar by supporting the return of government services and decentralization, so as to build confidence between public authorities and local people.

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The Coalition's Secretariat

The Secretariat

The Secretariat’s mission is to run the coordination between the partners, provide coherence within and between each of the four pillars and to monitor the results.

France proposed supporting the momentum for increased coordination and mobilization of partners by running the Secretariat of the Coalition for the Sahel for six months from 1 February 2020.

It is composed of representatives of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, the Ministry for the Armed Forces and the Agence Française de Développement and is placed under the authority of Frédéric Bontems, General Secretary. The body will take on a more international dimension in the future.

View the interview of the former special envoy of France for the Sahel on  TV5 Monde.

It is open to contribution from partners of the Sahel Coalition and the G5 Sahel who wish to support its work through seconded staff. Several countries from Europe and the G5 Sahel have shown that they are keen to play a part in this.

Operational contacts have been made by the Coalition Secretariat with the G5 Sahel Executive Secretariat, ECOWAS as well as the European Union and the G5 Sahel partner States with a view to enabling the Coalition to meet its goals.

The Member States of the G5 Sahel and the members of the European Council “called upon the other like-minded bilateral and international partners of the G5 Sahel countries to join the Coalition for the Sahel and contribute to the joint efforts under its respective pillars.”

 

Extract of the Joint statement of the European Council members with G5 Sahel Member States made following the videoconference of 28 April 2020.

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