The Czech Republic’s role in international efforts to assist Mali
15.02.2013 / 16:19
Shortly after the outbreak of the Tuareg rebellion in January 2012, northern Mali fell under the control of terrorist groups who imposed a rule oppressing the local population and violating its human rights, fostering organized crime and seeking to destroy cultural heritage.
The situation was further destabilized by the March 2012 coup d’état and the offensives launched by terrorists against the Malian armed forces in January 2013 in a bid to seize control of southern Mali. Following a request from Mali’s president and in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions a French-led limited stabilization operation was deployed in Mali. The operation is part of the action taken by the international community to assist the region’s countries in their efforts to deal with the threat.
Mali lies in a region of critical geostrategic importance to northern and western Africa. Like the whole Sahel, it has a long history of instability. The gravest security threats originating from the area include terrorism and arms proliferation, as well as drug and migrant smuggling operations bound for Europe.
The Czech Republic’s security is closely intertwined with the security of the wider region located to the south of Europe, including Sahel. Escalation of security threats, radicalization and increasing hold of terrorist groups over this part of the world would eventually undermine the Czech Republic’s security. The Security Strategy of the Czech Republic makes it clear that instability and regional conflicts in the Euro-Atlantic area and its neighbourhood constitute a threat to the country’s security. The action to address them includes participation in missions and operations led by international intergovernmental organizations.
Accordingly, the Czech contribution to international efforts in Mali is fully consistent with the security and foreign policy interests of the Czech Republic. It currently includes:
- Participation in EUTM Mali (European Union Training Mission Mali): The Czech government has authorized the contribution of up to 50 troops (government resolutions dated 6 February and 13 February 2013). The Czech troop contribution will initially be part of the force protection of the EU member state’s troops involved in the EUTM, and is to assume its role in training the Malian armed forces at a later stage. Its deployment is subject to the consent of both chambers of the Czech Parliament.
- Proposed donation of material to the Malian armed forces: the Czech Republic has identified the material to be donated; the final decision is yet to be made.
- Humanitarian assistance to Mali: On 28 January 2013, the Minister of Foreign Affairs authorized the allocation of CZK 3 million to assist the population affected by the escalation of the conflict in northern Mali. Since 2012, the humanitarian assistance provided from the Foreign Ministry budget to Malian civilian population and refugees has reached CZK 7 million.