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Vol 51 No 19

Published 24th September 2010

Storms in the sand

The EU is building a strategy to fight terrorism and crime on the fringes of the Sahara

The kidnapping of five French people on 16 September is a wake-up call to the European Union about crime in the Sahel belt – terrorism; the trade in drugs, arms and people; banditry and Tuareg uprisings. Three days earlier, the EU’s Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, Gilles de Kerchove, had told a special session of the European Parliament’s Defence and Security Subcommittee that the fringes of the Sahara were a priority for the European ‘stability instrument’, whose budget for 2007-13 is 2.06 billion euros (US$2.71 billion).

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