European security assistance: the search for stability in the Sahel
While peace, democracy and human rights remain central to its external action, Europe is increasingly turning towards securitised responses to crises. This has been particularly visible in the Sahel, where the EU has invested over €1 billion to build the capacity of security and military forces. But despite the EU’s security assistance, insecurity in the Sahel has kept escalating, with civilians caught between attacks by armed groups, self-defence militias and security forces.
This report maps Europe’s security assistance approach in the G5 Sahel countries: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. It analyses its political drivers, risks and impacts, and identifies lessons and recommendations in response. Drawing from these lessons and from the global track record of Western security assistance practices, this report identifies recommendations for the EU to consider as it builds its role as a global security actor.