Demystifying Russian security engagement in the Sahel: Can Europe fill the emerging security vacuum? - Multinational Development Policy Dialogue Brussels
Invitation: Demystifying Russian security engagement in the Sahel: Can Europe fill the emerging security vacuum?
📍 When: 28. February 2023 between 10.00 AM and 12.00 AM in the European Parliament (Brussels). Meeting for non-badge holders at 9.20 AM.
Last registrations: 22. February, 2023.
📣 Hosted by: EU Special Representative for the Sahel Ms Emanuela Claudia Del Re, MEP Željana Zovko (EPP, CR), Vice-Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Multinational Development Policy Dialogue.
The seminar "Demystifying Russian security engagement in the Sahel: Can Europe fill the emerging security vacuum?" is organised together with the EU Special Representative for the Sahel Ms Emanuela Claudia Del Re and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung. The event will take place on 28 February at 10am in room Antall Jan 6Q1.
📍 Panel discussion on the future of EU-Sahel relations amidst heightened international tensions with:
- H.E. Abdellahi Bah Nagi Kebd, Ambassador of Mauritania to the EU, the OPCW, the Benelux and the Nordic countries;
- Aude Maio-Coliche, Director, Strategic Communication and Foresight, EEAS;
- Col. Dominik Horn, Special Advisor to the Chairman of the EU Military Committee;
- Richard Young, Head of Division, West Africa, EEAS.
Moderated by: Ulf Laessing, Head of KAS regional office for the Sahel (Bamako, Mali).
🔊 Registration: via this LINK by the 22. February, 2023.
📍 Contact: Janne Leino, email@example.com.
📍 Currently, Russia is exploiting anti-French and anti-Western sentiments to promote a false narrative of positive intervention in the Sahel region. Moscow is deploying hundreds of Wagner mercenaries and military personnel to Mali, who have worsened the security situation in the region– as the Russian paramilitary group Wagner are frequently accused of committing atrocities against civilians. These developments are fueling jihadist movements and increasing the security vacuum, especially in the tri-border region of Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso.
🔊 In its messaging, Russia uses an army of trolls and allied “influencers” to claim that Moscow is aiding African countries with development projects as well as military assistance. Contrary to its messaging, Russia has no development program for the region, and is focusing on short-sighted goals and on countering European/ Western influence. This is a risk for the European Union, as increased instability in the region may lead to increased migrations flows, fuel extremist violence and foster criminal activities such as drug smuggling.
📍 Europe must thus step up its game to counter Russian engagement in the region, at the same time demystifying a vision of the region that is too focused on Russian and Wagner’s presence. In other words, the EU should design a package for citizens in the region that supports democratic governance models, and which cannot be exploited by Russia. The EU should see the stability of the Sahel region as a major challenge that needs to be tackled through a comprehensive approach, combining military engagement with development programs.
📣 In this event, co-organized by the EU Special Representative (EUSR) for the Sahel Ms Emanuela Claudia Del Re, MEP Željana Zovko (EPP, CR), Vice-Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Multinational Development Policy Dialogue (KAS MDPD), we will discuss what the EU ́s comprehensive security engagement in the region should look like.