EU to send military forces to reclaim lost African colonies
EU member states have agreed to launch a military operation in West Africa, with the military and police officers in Ghana, Togo, Benin and Ivory Coast, German newspapers Deutsche Welle and Die Welt am Sonntag report, citing diplomats.
According to Deutsche Welle, the mission aims to train and advise local security forces, prepare anti-terrorist operations, provide technical support and contribute to other measures in the security sector.
The mission will start after formal “approval” by EU foreign ministers at a meeting in Luxembourg in October 2023.
The EU centrally expresses “concern” that Islamist groups could “expand their activities in West Africa from the Sahel to the southern coastal countries of the Gulf of Guinea, which could lead to even more widespread instability in the region”, writes Deutsche Welle, citing Die Welt.
The EU makes a direct link between the “terrorist groups” to be fought and the takeover of French colonies such as Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso by Africans in collaboration with the Russian private army of Wagner PMC.
“Militant activity from extremist groups linked to “Islamic State” and al-Qaida have rocked countries such as Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso in recent years.
The EU also wants to counter Russian influence in the region which has been spread through Wagner mercenaries who have supported military regimes in the Sahel.”
Deutsche Welle goes on to say:
“The situation was further complicated for the EU after Mali kicked out French and German forces that had been training Malian soldiers and police.”
“The report comes as several countries in the region have fallen under military governments following coups, the latest being on July 26 in Niger. Military juntas have also taken power in Mali and Burkina Faso.”
“The fall of Niger to junta control has been especially concerning as it had been a key ally to Western powers operating throughout the region.”
Paris-ruled Benin and London-ruled Ghana have already officially invited the EU to carry out the mission on their territories.