European Commissioner for Development
The EU confirms its pledge of € 50 million to support an African-led peace operation (AFISMA)
AFISMA Donor Conference Mali/Addis Ababa
29 January 2013
I have the honour of leading the delegation of the European Union at this special conference. But above all I have come today to deliver a message of solidarity from 500 million European citizens for Mali, its citizens and in particular the African force currently being deployed.
The European Union has mobilised in response to President Traoré’s call to deal with the emergency. Working alongside the African Union and ECOWAS, our priority is to re-establish both security in the country and its territorial integrity in accordance with the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council.
Today, like yesterday, the European Union would like to express its solidarity with the Malian people. We hope that this great country, with a history spanning several thousand years, will return to being the model of democracy and development that it was until recently and that it remains a model of tolerance.
The rapid worsening of the situation these last few weeks has been a threat to the existence of Mali itself, to the whole of the Sahel and even further afield, including Europe. That is why, at the extraordinary meeting of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs in Brussels on 17 January, we unanimously agreed to support the French intervention and to accelerate the financial and logistical support for AFISMA. We have to back the African countries’ commitment on the ground approved at the ECOWAS summit in Abidjan on 19 January and at the African Union summit here in Addis Ababa yesterday.
To this end, I am pleased to announce that the European Union is going to allocate EUR 50 million to AFISMA through its Peace Facility for Africa.
In terms of logistics, the military structures of the European Union have set up a Clearing House aimed at increasing the logistical capacity created for these Member States in favour of AFISMA.
Finally, in terms of direct support for the Malian army, we are going to deploy the EU Training Mission in February with the aim of enhancing the Malian army’s training, and advising and restructuring it.
I have also come to deliver a message of hope over and above the support for AFISMA.
We are determined to support the efforts of the Malian authorities, as we told them recently, to end the crisis and move towards restoring democratic institutions. In this respect I welcome the roadmap recently adopted by the Malian government.
Implementing this road map will be the main objective of the meeting of the Support and Follow-Up Group to be held in Brussels on 5 February. Hence the European Union is already preparing to resume its development cooperation, for a total of EUR 250 million, in particular so that the people of Mali can once again have access to basic services, health, education and water.
The European Union’s humanitarian efforts have never stopped in the field, as demonstrated by my colleague Kristalina Georgieva’s recent visit to Bamako. More than ever, we are alert to developments in the situation.
Our commitment towards Mali and towards the entire region is a long term one.
From 11 February, together with the European Ministers for Development, we are going to analyse the findings of the needs defining mission that is currently in Bamako to draw up an ambitious coordinated programme of support for Mali for the benefit of its people and the ongoing political process.
Africans, Europeans, Malians, together we are going to face up to the challenge of security, stability and development in Mali and the Sahel.