EU work­ing with African states to tackle mi­gra­tion – EU Spe­cial Rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the Sa­hel

The Euro­pean Union is work­ing with African coun­tries in an ef­fort to re­solve the is­sue of il­le­gal mi­gra­tion, Span­ish Am­bas­sador and EU Spe­cial Rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the Sa­hel Re­gion told

Malta Independent - - NEWS - Photo: Jonathan Borg

There was a civil war in Mali, and the sit­u­a­tion there is not ex­actly calm. Given the se­cu­rity con­cerns in these coun­tries, can the EU re­ally hope to make a dif­fer­ence be­fore such prob­lems are sorted out?

I am a mem­ber of the me­di­a­tion team han­dling the Malian peace process. Next week I will at­tend a monthly meet­ing of the Peace Agree­ment Mon­i­tor­ing Com­mit­tee in Mali. I’m not say­ing that the prob­lems are over, but there have been two ma­jor achieve­ments. Firstly, no­body puts the ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity of Mali into ques­tion. Three years ago, there was a sep­a­rated area within Mali claim­ing in­de­pen­dence, and now no­body is say­ing that the in­tegrity of Mali is in jeop­ardy. In ad­di­tion, all the dif­fer­ent move­ments that were fight­ing each other are now un­der the same roof, talk­ing around a ta­ble. The peace agree­ment did not go as fast as we had hoped, but nei­ther did it go as slow as we had feared. Mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions have been held this week. It is true that one side did not want an elec­tion, but with the help of the UN and close EU co­op­er­a­tion, we man­aged to pur­sue this goal and are at­tempt­ing to bring back the author­ity of the Malian state to all the ter­ri­tory.

The EU is ac­tively par­tic­i­pat­ing in the peace process, and is a guar­an­tor of the agree­ment. There are some prob­lems which have arisen in the cen­tral part of the coun­try, and we need to take these into con­sid­er­a­tion as well.

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