The August 18th coup in Mali confronted European leaders with a harsh reality: financial resources, capacity building trainings and security cooperation alone are too thin a strategy to restore peace and stability in the Sahel. Following the 2012 upheaval, the European Union (EU) launched dedicated, well-funded initiatives and stabilization missions to reinforce the power of civilian governments and to support the fight against terrorism and organized crime.
Jihadist insurgency, geostrategic competition, smuggling, and migrant flows. More than anywhere in Africa – and perhaps the world – the Sahel is where these phenomena come together, fuelling social and economic crises. Keeping an eye on the Sahel in 2020 will be paramount.