The European Commission’s Vice President and High Representative, Joseph Borrell, recently revealed the outfits intention to weaponise Africa in a bid to force peace upon the continent. Mr Borrell made a series of statements about the intentions of the EU’s military wing, including using the funds from a new €10.5bn “off budget” slush fund to buy and provide weapons.
The announcement came during the larget’s ever delegation meeting from the EU in Africa, held in Ethiopia as part of an African tour being conducted by the commission.
In response to questions asked by reporters concerning conflict on the war-torn nation, Mr Borrell said: “Let us be less angelical and put a foot on the ground.
“We are fighting a war, and when you face a war, you need to do war.”
“And security requires strength and strength requires arms.”
The EU said it was willing to use some of its peace fund to help Africa in its military efforts
Josep Borrell was the EU representative who made the comments
He added: “The Peace Fund will be able to provide equipment… When you go to fight, you have to have war equipment.
“We need guns, we need arms, we need military capacities and that is what we are going to help provide to our African friends because their security is our security.”
The EU is set to unveil its strategy on Africa, with President Ursula von der Leyen seeking input from the African Union.
These talks will involve security and peace, both of which are seen as vital in making sure the current conflicts in places like Libya and the Sahel don’t spiral out of control.
The EU is set to unveil its strategy on Africa
Ursula von der Leyen accompanied by Chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat
People inspecting the damage inside a building following a rocket attack in Libya
“This does not make the motivation and desired end result any the less certain.”
The Sahel, an African region just south of the Sahara, is as large as Europe.
In 2011, some 4,500 French troops were deployed in the region shortly after Libya’s collapse.
The collapse was due, in part, to an intense bombing campaign orchestrated by NATO forces.
The EU parliament and its cabinet
Despite the EU’s attempts at forging links between itself and Africa, last week, the African Union (AU) sent Brussels a clear message: that though it appreciated its help, it preferred to solve its own problems.
While the AU leadership is happy to strengthen its ties with Europe, the body is more interested in its own Africa strategy.
Frans Timmermans, vice president of the European Commission, told reporters after commissioners from the AU and EU had concluded their talks: “A very important lesson: African solutions to African problems.
“We should not now think we can reinvent the wheel from scratch.”
It is currently unclear how close ties between the EU and AU will become in the future.
Niger Army troops on patrol near the Nigerian border in South Niger, in the Sahel region
During the summit, The AU’s Chairperson Moussa Faki drew attention to several differences between the two outfits that continue to mar inter-continental relations.
He said: “Certainly, we have some differences, international criminal justice, sexual orientation and identity, death penalty, centrality of the African Union in certain crises.”
“These differences are normal, given our cultural, sociological and even spiritual diversity.
“Only the recognition and acceptance of these differences, the language of openness, will allow us to remove the obstacles that may hinder our cooperation,” he added.