Mali: EU pledges €50mn to support AFISMA in addition to the EDF allocation of €583mn (2008-2013)
On the 29th January, in Addis Ababa, Andris Piebalgs, European Union (EU) Commissioner for Development, confirmed that the EU were contributing €50 million to the African-led International Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA).Andris Piebalgs, who was representing the EU at the Mali donor conference, hosted by the African Union, said, “By providing a substantial financial support to AFISMA, the European Union is sending a strong message that we are serious about actively supporting Mali in maintaining its unity and territorial integrity and bringing back peace and stability to the region”, adding, “The African Peace Facility could cover non‑military expenditures like medical expenses, daily allowances and transport costs of the troops deployed on the ground. In parallel we are preparing new programmes to provide assistance to the civilian population, who are severely affected by the crisis, and to assist the Malian government’s efforts towards the swift restoration of democracy in line with the roadmap recently adopted.” (IP/13/62)
The EU’s financial support for AFISMA will come from the African Peace Facility (APF), established by the EU in 2004, and to date the EU has channelled €740 million through this facility. In 2007, the African Union (AU) and the EU decided to broaden the scope of the APF to cover conflict prevention, and post-conflict stabilisation, as well as to accelerate decision-making and coordination processes. Consequently the APF is also used to the support peace operations conducted by the AU and African regional organisations, such as the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Mission for Consolidation of peace in the Central African Republic (MICOPAX).
“In view of the difficulties endured by the civilian population and in an effort to support the Malian government’s efforts to bring about the transition to democracy, a number of development programmes in Mali may be resumed as soon as possible. Some €250 million may be mobilised for this purpose. They will complement existing programmes which among other things, help reinforce civil society, strengthen food security and improve supply of drinking water.” (IP/13/62) Currently the EU’s 10th European Development Fund (EDF) indicative programme (2008-2013) has an allocation of €583 million for Mali.
AFISMA, a military mission sent to support the government of Mali in its fight against Islamist rebels in Northern Mali, has been organised by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) of which Mali is a member nation. The mission, sanctioned by the UN Security Council (Resolution 2085) on 20th December, 2012, authorises AFISMA for an initial period of one year. Currently troops from 20 African counties are involved as well as those deployed from France. Initially the mission was to begin in September 2013 but the unexpected advance by the rebel forces in early January 2013, and the subsequent French intervention, has brought the timing forward. Nigerian Major General Abdulkadir Shehu, whose country began deploying air and ground forces to Mali on 17th January, is the first commander of AFISMA. His deputy is Brigadier General Yaye Garba of Niger.
Last Updated (Tuesday, 26 February 2013 15:32)