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How the EU Must Change Course in Mali

Payam Ghalehdar, Ingo Henneberg, Gerrit Kurtz, and Robin Schroeder advocate for binding the training of the Malian armed forces more closely to visible reforms in the security sector.

In an article published by Die Welt, Payam Ghalehdar (Fellow at the Centre for International Security), Ingo Henneberg (Free University of Berlin), Gerrit Kurtz (German Council on Foreign Relations), and Robin Schroeder (University of Leiden) propose that the EU and Mali conclude an agreement on joint commitments and mutual accountability for the training and reform of security forces. 

As part of an EU Training Mission (EUTM), the Bundeswehr has been assisting the Malian army since 2013. However, according to the authors, the security situation in the country has since worsened, with more civilians being killed by Malian security forces than by jihadist in 2020. The article identifies both challenges facing EUTM Mali, such as the structural deficits that hinder organization efforts while allowing impunity and corruption, as well as shared European and Malian interests, namely peace, stability and development. 

In order to achieve these complementary goals, security forces must consistently protect the general population in order to increase trust in the state and create a safer environment that enables the implementation of civil aid projects and the return of local government. Ghalehdar, Henneberg, Kurtz and Schroeder highlight three key areas or reforms: increasing transparency in human resources and logistics, continuing the fight against impunity, and securing parliamentary control of the armed forces.

The full article can be found here

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