The EU will finance the construction of a new headquarters for the Sahel’s five-nation anti-terror force in Mali, after the destruction of the former HQ in a militant attack that left three dead at the end of June, the bloc’s foreign policy chief said Wednesday.
“The EU has decided to finance in full the rebuilding of a new headquarters and to continue its support in order to ensure the operational continuity of the Force’s staff on the ground,” Federica Mogherini said in a statement.
Two soldiers and one civilian were killed when a car bomb exploded outside the G5 Sahel force headquarters in the central Malian town of Sevare on June 29.
The suicide attack was claimed by a militant group, the Muslim Islam Support Group, the main Sahelian militant alliance linked to al-Qaeda.
The joint force was launched in 2017 by Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger and has received 100 million euros in financial support from the EU.
It is set to expand to 5,000 troops, divided into seven battalions: two each from the Mali and Niger, and one from Chad, Burkina Faso and Mauritania.
About 400 million euros pledged at an international donors’ conference in Brussels on 23 February has been slow to materialize.