EU military mission must focus on human rights
Commenting on the recent resurgence of fighting in North Mali between Touareg-led and Islamist groups this weekend and the announcement yesterday by EU foreign ministers of a planned EU military mission to Mali, Greens/EFA foreign affairs spokesperson Franziska Brantner stated:
"Any military training mission will be futile without a successful political transition in Mali and a political answer to the independence movements in the North. The EU needs to make sure that an official framework for negotiations is created before deploying EUTM Mali in early 2013.
"With all the eagerness to get a training mission off the ground, the EU and its member states must not forget that a military force, which would violate human rights while freeing the country, would defeat the political purpose of the mission. There is therefore a need to make human rights training a mandatory part of the military training, as well as to define the respect for human rights by the trained troops of the EUTM as an objective of the mission.
"Regardless, it is clear that training the troops inside Mali carries significant risks for escalation that could be reduced by training them outside the country."