PRESS RELEASES 063
Spain strengthens commitment to fight against terrorism in Sahel
26/03/2021
Earlier today, Spain reaffirmed its commitment to the fight against terrorism and for stabilisation in the Sahel region at a seminar organised in Niamey (Niger) entitled “The Fight against Terrorism in the Sahel. The Commitment from Spain”. 

Organised by Spain, this seminar took place on the sidelines of the Niamey International Congress on Peace and Stabilisation in Conflict Zones and the Fight against Insurrectionary Terrorism in central Sahel and the Chad Basin (24 to 26 March), which was attended by senior officials in charge of the fight against terrorism from all G5 Sahel countries (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger) and international specialists on the topic.

The Spanish State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Ibero-America and the Caribbean, Cristina Gallach, spoke via video link at the opening session of the congress in Niger, which was attended by the Prime Minister of Niger, Brigi Rafini, to convey a message of support for the Sahel countries in their fight against terrorism and Spain’s commitment to those efforts.  

One of the challenges being faced in the Sahel countries is a need to relate and coordinate stabilisation programmes on the one hand with military operations in the fight against terrorism and the domestic security forces that guarantee public safety on the other. This conference gathered the numerous actors involved to examine the situation and achieve a better mutual understanding by creating a shared space for experiences, challenges and perspectives. Furthermore, this joint analysis allowed best practices and recommendations for the countries of central Sahel to be identified.

Through this seminar and by sending a delegation of the highest technical level, Spain seeks to highlight its presence and commitment to the fight against terrorism in the Sahel region, which the country has been developing via various instruments and successful initiatives, such as the GAR SI Sahel Programme (Rapid Intervention and Surveillance Action Groups) led by the Spanish Guardia Civil, financed by the European Union and managed by the FIIAPP (International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies), as well as significant participation by Spanish armed forces in EUTM Mali (European Union Training Mission), EUCAP Mali (European Union Capacity Building Mission), EUCAP Sahel Niger, EUCAP Sahel Mali and Operation ‘Marfil’, which provides essential logistics support from Dakar to the French Barkhane mission in the region.

The high-level Spanish delegation that travelled to the Nigerien capital for the Congress and Seminar was a clear demonstration of that commitment. National experts in the fight against terrorism from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Union and Cooperation, the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Home Affairs - Spanish National Police and Guardia Civil - took part in the events.

These Spanish experts were able to present several of those initiatives and projects, as well as to discuss certain priority issues for the region, such as the prevention, investigation and dismantling strategies against the terrorist threat, cooperation in terms of intelligence and capacity building for local police and armed forces. 

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