EU backed security initiative for four West African countries

466

A new security and defence initiative, backed by the Council of the European Union (EU), is in place to tackle what is termed “the spill over of insecurity” from the Sahel to west African countries.

The decision to launch the initiative was taken in December 2023 by the Council, with an initial two-year duration, and is seen as part of a wider response pulling together prevention, socio-economic development and humanitarian assistance. It is envisaged that this initiative will provide tailor-made support to the region.

The initiative is part of the EU’s integrated approach to the region and will contribute to support Benin, Ghana, the Ivory Coast and Togo to tackle instability and insecurity. This will be done by reinforcing capabilities of the security and defence forces of the four West African countries to contain and contain and respond to armed terrorist groups.

The initiative will also promote the rule of law and good governance in security sectors as well as build trust between civil society and defence and security forces.

It was developed in co-ordination with Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo and Benin and will offer “tailored support” based on needs identified and formulated by the four countries.

Following an innovative, flexible and modular set up, the initiative will combine military and civilian security and defence expertise (providing short-term training teams or visiting experts) as an addition to European Peace Facility (EPF) assistance measures, such as the recently adopted ones to support the Beninese Armed Forces (€11.75 million) and the Ghana Armed Forces (€8.25 million).