From 10 to 13 November the Clingendael Academy together with the Egmont Institute organized the first pre-deployment training for Mali, in the context of the ENTRi project.
The training brought together incoming mission staff for MINUSMA, EUCAP Sahel Mali and third parties. The participants consisted of a mix of civilian experts, police, gendarmes and humanitarian experts. The course was held in French and English interchangeably.
EUCAP Sahel Mali Head of Mission, Ambassador Albrecht Conze, addressing incoming mission members
In the course of 4 days, the participants were acquainted with fundamental elements of working in Mali in the context of a crisis management mission:
Sahel, Mali and the Conflict Dynamics
Clingendael researcher Grégory Chauzal talked about the position of Mali in the greater Sahel region, the role of Islam, cultural aspects and the recent political developments.
In various sessions, the regional implications of insecurity were discussed, as well as the various armed groups and the geo-political interests of international actors. Finally, we discussed the current profile of the International Community, including the French bilateral counter-terrorism missions (Serval, Barkhane), the Integrated and Multidimensional UN mission MINUSMA and the two EU missions: EU Training Mission (Army) and EU Capacity-building Mission (Police, Gendarmerie and Garde nationale).
Clingendael Research Fellow, Grégory Chauzal, discussing current situation in Mali
Security Sector Reform
A commonality in the International Community’s efforts is the focus on building the capacity of the Malinese security institutions. Dr. Mpako Foalang of Geneva’s Centre for Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) acquainted the participants with the developments in Security Sector Reform (SSR) taking shape in Mali at this moment.
Currently, the Malinese authorities struggle with the evident failure of its defence and security forces in response to the various threats. Even though a national SSR process has been initiated, it remains a challenge to make it an inclusive and comprehensive process.
The training combined the transfer of knowledge with practising indispensable skills for working in an international mission environment: skills in monitoring, mentoring and advising. Mr Stefan Joris of the Belgian National Police discussed with the participants the different notions and roles one could have as part of a crisis management mission.
Training participants together with training coordinators and representatives from EU CPCC (EEAS)
Mission experiences and mandates
The Clingendael Academy developed a number of mini-scenarios of likely encounters in Mali. In these scenarios the participants were asked to develop their courses of action, reflect on advantages and disadvantages and to present these to their colleagues.
In the course of the training, extensive attention was paid to the different mandates of the various missions, all derived from UN Security Council Resolutions 2100 (2013) and 2164 (2014). Finally, the participants were updated by recent returnees on the practical elements of living and working in Bamako and on the countryside.
In 2015, Clingendael and Egmont aim to continue its training programme on Mali, in particular for future members of MINUSMA, EUTM and EUCAP Sahel Mali. Furthermore, this training activity forms part of the wider Sahel programme implemented by the Clingendael Institute.
19 November 2014