Finland will fund the development of joint security troops in the Sahel region with EUR 900 000. The support will be channelled via the EU’s African Peace Facility fund, to be used to provide the troops with material support and services. Finland’s contribution cannot be directed to buy weapons or other lethal material.
The five countries located in the Sahel region (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger) decided, at the beginning of 2017, to set up joint security forces. The aim of this initiative was to counter security threats in the region, such as terrorism, drug trafficking and human smuggling. The security troops will consist of 5000 soldiers.
The G5 troops will require, however, external support to become fully operational. The European Commission has decided to support the initiative and has created a support mechanism for this purpose.
“It is a positive sign that the countries in the region assume responsibility for their own security. As a result, the region’s problems are less likely to have spill-over effects on Europe”, says Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini.
A high-level conference will take place, on 23 February in Brussels, on the political situation, security and development in the Sahel region. Prime Minister Juha Sipilä will represent Finland at the conference.
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