The European Union plans to launch what it describes as an advisory and capacity-building mission in West Africa in fall that allegedly aims to roll back Islamist militancy on the Gulf of Guinea coast, media reported Sunday.
EU foreign ministers will announce the start of the “civil-military” mission at a meeting in Luxembourg in October, the Welt am Sonntag newspaper has learned. The area of operation will reportedly span Ghana, Togo, Benin and Cote d’Ivoire. The governments of Benin and Ghana have already sent formal invitations.
Senior EU diplomats who are familiar with the planning told the German paper that the mission stems from “concerns of the EU that jihadist groups could extend their activities in Western Africa from the Sahel region to the southern coastal countries off the Gulf of Guinea.”
The mission will comprise police and military personnel whose number is still to be determined. Other goals include anti-terrorist operational preparedness training, technical assistance and confidence-building in the local security sectors.