Statement by Amb. Schulz at the Ministerial Meeting on the G5 Sahel Joint Force

28.03.2019 - Speech

(check against delivery)

Mr Chair,

Germany joins the other speakers in thanking the two hosts, France and Burkina Faso, for having initiated this event on the G5 Sahel Joint Force.

It is a timely discussion because a joint-up cross-border response to the increasing security threats in the Sahel is urgently needed.

Only a few days ago, the Security Council visited Mali und Burkina Faso, under the joint leadership of France, Germany and Côte d’Ivoire.

From our perspective, the visit clearly showed that international support to the Joint Force continues to be essential.

Let me, on behalf of my Government, convey four specific messages in this regard:

1. The Joint Force quickly needs to increase its operational capacities.  Germany is a strong partner in this endeavor and has contributed about 28 mio EUR  in support to the Joint Force.

But first and foremost, we expect to see a strong engagement by all countries of the G5. We also call on all international partners who have pledged support to increase the predictability of funding for the joint force.

2. Germany believes that the Joint Force has the potential to develop into a key player for achieving more security in the Sahel. But we are not there yet. This is why we are convinced that there is a continued need for international security presences in the Sahel region for the time being. This includes MINUSMA which should have a robust mandate and the necessary resources to implement its mandate.

3. Germany strongly believes that safeguarding human rights and building inclusive societies are in fact prerequisites for successfully fighting against terrorism and extremism. The experience of injustice often is a decisive factor in breeding extremism. And while combatting terrorism and extremism, there cannot be any compromises when it comes to respecting human rights. Therefore, we fully support the human rights compliance framework of the Joint Force and thank the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for its dedicated work on this.  

4. Germany is equally convinced that a military approach to fighting terrorism and insecurity will not be successful in isolation. What is needed is a joined-up approach encompassing the fields of development, governance and security. This guides Germany’s bilateral support to Sahel countries. Foreign Minister Mass, during his recent visit to Burkina Faso, announced that Germany provides 46 million Euro for stabilization projects in border areas. We are also active through the Alliance for the Sahel of which we are a founding member.

In conclusion, Mr Chair, let me underline:

Germany is and remains a reliable partner and supports the Sahel G5 countries on their path towards greater security, stability and development.

I thank you.

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