Sahel – EU relations are likely to persist strongly. That is to say, the EU remains a crucial partner for the countries in the region, especially regarding financial and technical support amid growing instability and insecurity. The latest spike in food insecurity, worsened by the War in Ukraine, climate shocks, and the cost-of-living crisis have aggravated an already volatile situation.
Major events are taking place in Mali. Tensions between European members and the ruling Military Junta, as well as Wagner Group operations in the country, have hampered the strong and lengthy collaboration between Europeans and Malians. (source) France then completed the withdrawal of its troops from the country in September 2022 and other EU members have followed this path. (source) Ultimately, this context has led the EU to re-structured its operational security Sahel strategy, by establishing EUTM Niger.
Key Judgement 1. Security Cooperation between the EU and the Sahel is highly likely to continue over the next 12 months, aiming to contribute to peace and stability in the region.
Key Judgement 2. The increasingly volatile security situation and Wagner Group’s ties to Malian authorities will highly likely continue to hinder the EUMT Mali mission.
Key Judgement 3. EU financial support to the Sahel will likely increase in 2023, especially as the humanitarian crisis and food insecurity are on the rise amid the Russo-Ukraine War.