EU “determined” to support government in Bamako
The EU’s 27 foreign ministers agreed, on 15 October, that it was essential to assist the Malian government in regaining control of the African country’s Northern territories, which are currently occupied by Islamist rebels. “The EU is determined to support Mali in restoring the rule of law as well as a democratic and fully sovereign state throughout its territory,” the ministers said in their conclusions, after receiving a formal demand that the bloc help out Mali.
Meeting for a Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg, the ministers also urged the European Commission and the EU’s high representative to work on the planning of a possible military mission in the framework of its Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). They should particularly focus on developing “a crisis management concept on the reorganisation and training of Malian defence forces,” the conclusions read.
But in any case, the EU’s intervention in Mali, which should take the form of a support mission to Malian forces on the ground, would be coordinated with other international players, such as the United Nations and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). And the EU’s mission would have to be within the framework decided by the UN, ministers said.
On 12 October, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution calling for a plan to be set up regarding a possible intervention and that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon submit “detailed and actionable recommendations” within 45 days. A second resolution will then have to follow to support the deployment of the forces.
Since the beginning of 2012, an estimated 450,000 people have been displaced, including 175,000 internally displaced persons and 275,000 refugees, in neighbouring countries.