Luxembourg: EU must support Africa in political, security challenges

The European Union must provide support to Africa in its political and security challenges, including terrorist threats, according to Luxembourg’s foreign minister, Jean Asselborn.

During a foreign affairs council of the European Union meeting in Brussels on Monday, Asselborn discussed the EU’s global security and defence strategy.

The council spoke about the Greater Horn of Africa (GHA) — a region of Eastern Africa — and in particular Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan.

Asselborn said: “We must continue to provide strong support to our African partners to deal with the security crises that threaten peace and prosperity, including terrorist threats, like in the Sahel region and the GHA, but also other threats including organised transnational crime.

“The support must be flexible and adapted to the reality on the ground — for example, in the Sahel region, where the EU must continue to support G5 co-operation, building on its already substantial commitment that allows security and defence, with the presence of civilian missions (EUCAP Niger and EUCAP Mali) and military (EUTM Mali).”

Asselborn said Africa had huge potential but was confronted with numerous challenges and conflicts.

He said it was important to “refuse the status quo — whether it be in South Sudan, Burundi, the DRC or elsewhere — where political and economic elites can choose to cling to power or capture the resources of the state at the expense of peace and shared prosperity”.

He insisted the EU must side with African reformers and democrats who were waiting for “our support” to make a lasting and positive change within their societies.

“Peace, prosperity and partnership can only be achieved if the rule of law and human rights are guaranteed,” he added.

Given the current rate of population growth, almost one in four people on earth will be African by 2050, and the working-age population could reach 1bn people during the same period.

Asselborn added that the prosperity of the African populations will “only be achieved through the considerable increase in the number of quality jobs for African youth and the prospects for sustainable socio-economic development”.

The next summit with Africa will be based on the theme of youth.

The ministers of foreign affairs also met with the president of the commission of the African union, Moussa Faki Mahamat.