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Denmark supports the African peace support mission in Mali with DKK 12 million

24.01.2013  16:12

The Government has decided to contribute an initial DKK 12 million to the coming African-led military peace support mission in Mali (AFISMA). The objective of AFISMA is to rebuild the Malian security forces and assist in regaining control of northern Mali. The Danish contribution is part of the Government’s overall effort to address the conflict in Mali, protect the civilian population and prevent terrorism. The contribution is made in line with the mandate from the UN Security Council and the desire to support Africa’s ability to manage its own conflicts.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs states:

”We cannot sit by silently watching the conflict in Mali lead to further destabilisation of the region and the suffering of the civilian population. We will not accept Mali and its neighbours becoming a new breeding ground for terrorism. With our contribution to AFISMA we support African leadership of the conflict in Mali and thus the very positive development where the African countries themselves handle the conflicts in the continent. The Danish contribution to AFISMA represents further strengthening of Denmark’s already large, broad-based efforts for the stabilisation of Mali. There can be no development without security, and without development it will not be possible to create long-term, lasting peace in Mali. This is why it is so important that we make use of all our instruments – both hard and soft.”

The Minister of Defence states:

”The contribution to AFISMA expresses Denmark’s broad-based approach to the stabilisation of Mali. We are not merely making a military contribution of a Danish military transport aircraft. With our financial contribution to AFISMA, we are also supporting Africans in their efforts to themselves take greater responsibility for the security challenges in the region. This is help for self-help. There is no doubt that swift deployment of AFISMA is of great importance to avert further destabilisation of Mali and the region".

The Minister for Development Cooperation states:

”Mali is one the poorest countries in the world and is now also afflicted by conflict and chaos. In the northern part of Mali the absolutely fundamental rights of the population are being violated by terrorist groups and approximately 400,000 people are fleeing. I recently visited a refugee camp for Malian refugees in the neighbouring country of Burkina Faso, where I witnessed need and anxiety at close quarters.  Our acute assistance to AFISMA fits very well with our multi-pronged efforts. We have been present in the Sahel region for many years with active development cooperation, and Danish efforts were most recently further developed with our new Sahel initiative, focusing among other things on initiatives in the areas of anti-radicalisation and reforms of the security sector.”

Background:
The Danish contribution to AFISMA represents further strengthening of the Government’s comprehensive Sahel initiative of DKK 125 million for regional stabilising initiatives in 2013-17. Denmark supports local dialogue to promote a political resolution of the crisis in Mali and looks to long-term security sector reforms and anti-radicalisation across the Sahel. In addition to this are the Danish military contribution to the French-led military intervention in Mali and the vital acute emergency aid. All of this builds upon Denmark’s long-standing development assistance cooperation with Mali and the neighbouring countries.

The Mali initiative is a concrete example of the Government’s New Security Policy, where all relevant civilian and military instruments are flexibly brought into play to stabilise and prevent armed conflicts, with an emphasis on local solutions.

The African-led support mission in Mali, AFISMA, was authorised by UN Security Council Resolution 2085 of 20 December 2012. The African Union is mobilising peace-keeping troops from West Africa. The first African troops are on the ground, but immediate financing is necessary to make the mission ready to begin operations and take ownership of the rebuilding of peace and stability in Mali. The Danish contribution is given to an international fund earmarked for support for AFISMA, in line with Security Council Resolution 2085. An international donor conference is to be held in Addis Ababa on 29 January with a view to mobilising international assistance for AFISMA and capacity building of the Malian security forces.