CMS and DIIS facilitate policy seminar on international military interventions in the Sahel
With the aim of elucidating and discussing international military interventions and key challenges regarding the security situation in the Sahel region, DIIS in collaboration with Center for Military Studies (CMS), hosted a closed policy seminar on international military interventions in the Sahel taking place on October 21, 2019 in Copenhagen. Among the participants were national and international academic scholars, representatives from various Danish ministries and the Royal Danish Army, representation from the EU as well as ambassadors from the Sahel region.
The topic of the policy seminar is a very timely one, as the security situation in the Sahel region is dramatically deteriorating and Denmark is preparing to send troops to Mali to support the French-led Operation Barkhane and renew its contribution to the UN-mission MINUSMA.
The policy seminar, consisting of two Panel Sessions and a subsequent discussion, was introduced by the organisers, Signe Marie Cold-Ravnkilde (Danish Institute for International Studies) and Katja Lindskov Jacobsen (Centre for Military Studies). Opening the first Panel Session, Ambassador Julie Pruzan-Jørgensen (Special Envoy to the Sahel) offered her perspective on Danish engagements in the Sahel. Offering a perspective on French engagements in the Sahel, Yvan Guichaoua (Brussels School of International Studies) zoomed in on the French military intervention, namely Operation Barkhane. Next, Stephen Tankel (American University) gave an overview of current US engagements and security cooperation in the Sahel region. Lastly, Adam Sandor (University of Ottawa) finished the first Panel Session with a presentation on the future role of the MINUSMA and the challenges the UN-mission is faced with.
Opening the second Panel Session, Signe Marie Cold-Ravnkilde (Danish Institute for International Studies) offered her perspective on current EU engagements and security practices in the Sahel. Subsequently, Birgitte Markussen (Director, Deputy Managing Director Africa at EEAS) commented further on the EU’s current engagements and strategy in the Sahel. Next, Eliza Lopez Lucia (Université Libre de Bruxelles) and Edoardo Baldaro (University of Naples) presented an overview of regional organizations in the Sahel, namely the G5 Sahel, ECOWAS and the African Union. Finally, Michael Anker Lollesgaard (Chief of the Royal Danish Army) offered his perspective on key challenges for military interventions in the Sahel and prospects for cooperation between the different missions operating in the Sahel.
The presentations were followed by discussion amongst participants under Chatham House rules. The great diversity of participants and panellists provided many nuanced and interesting considerations on the complex issue.
For more information on international military interventions in the Sahel region here.