EU — Declaration by the European Union1 following the death of Michel Germaneau

We have just learnt with hor­ror of the death of the French­man Michel Ger­maneau who was being held hostage by the Al-Qaï­da Organ­i­sa­tion in the Islam­ic Maghreb (AQMI).

We con­demn this foul assas­si­na­tion in the strongest pos­si­ble terms. We express our sol­i­dar­i­ty with the victim’s rel­a­tives and with the French author­i­ties, and we lend them our full sup­port in these trag­ic cir­cum­stances.

The dete­ri­o­ra­tion in the sit­u­a­tion in the Sahel-Saha­ran strip con­sti­tutes a grow­ing secu­ri­ty issue for this region at the gate­way to Europe.

The threat posed by AQIM express­ly tar­gets Euro­pean nation­als. In under 18 months over a dozen peo­ple have been tak­en hostage, all of them Euro­peans. The mur­der of Michel Ger­maneau is in addi­tion to that of UK nation­al Edwin Dyer in 2009.

How­ev­er, the growth of ter­ror­ism and organ­ised crime in the Sahel-Saha­ran strip also direct­ly affects the local pop­u­la­tions and States of the region.

We can­not turn our backs on this real­i­ty. This new assas­si­na­tion shows the neces­si­ty of mobil­is­ing all inter­na­tion­al and region­al actors to step up the fight against ter­ror­ism and rein­force secu­ri­ty in the Sahel-Saha­ran strip.

The Euro­pean Union and the Mem­ber States are already sup­port­ing mea­sures to strength­en the capac­i­ties of the States of the region. We must go fur­ther and mobilise all the resources at our dis­pos­al to pro­mote the secu­ri­ty and devel­op­ment of the Sahel-Saha­ran strip, in coop­er­a­tion with the States of the region, the Unit­ed Nations and oth­er inter­na­tion­al part­ners.

1 Adopt­ed by the For­eign Affairs Coun­cil on 26 July

Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union

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