Friday, 16 October 2015

AU-Germany high-level meeting on small arms control in the greater Sahel

On 16 October 2015, a “High-Level Meeting for the African Union–Germany Project on Enhanced Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) Control and Physical Security and Stockpile Management (PSSM) in the Greater Sahel” was held at the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

High-level meeting in Addis Ababa, 16 October 2015; Photos: AU

Ambassador Susanne Baumann, German Deputy Commissioner for Arms Control and Disarmament, gave an interview to BICC explaining the joint AU–Germany project and the outcomes of the high-level meeting.

Attendees included representatives from all G7 member states, and (deputy) ministers of the interior, defence, and chiefs of staff from 15 Greater Sahelian countries. Opening statements were made by Ambassador Smail Chergui (African Union Commissioner) and Ambassador Susanne Baumann, Deputy Federal Commissioner for Disarmament and Arms Control (German Federal Foreign Office). Additional speakers included Ms. Hiroute Gebre Sellassie, United Nation’s Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Sahel, and Mr. Oluwafisan Bankale, a representative from the SALW Division at ECOWAS.

The primary aim of the high-level meeting was twofold: to endorse a means of improving the co-ordination of small arms control initiatives across the Greater Sahel, and to better link the needs of Sahelian states with the resources of donors. The meeting discussed and endorsed a proposal for the creation of a co-ordination platform in which donor representatives and delegates from the AU, regional economic communities (RECs), implementing agencies and member states will meet at least once a year to exchange information on arms proliferation and PSSM issues. Co-ordination meetings will begin in 2016 and will be accompanied by capacity building activities at the African Union and at RECs in both West and East Africa. Future activities will also focus on the sharing of best practices, the mainstreaming of monitoring and evaluation, and the compilation of a database of ongoing SALW/PSSM projects in the Greater Sahel.

The high-level conference in Addis Ababa was one of a series of meetings held as part of a joint AU–Germany project on arms control and PSSM in the Greater Sahel. This project was launched in May 2015 and has been undertaken as part of Germany’s current presidency of the Group of Seven (G7). The project also forms part of the African Union’s Nouakchott process on the enhancement of security co-operation and the operationalisation of the African Peace and Security Architecture in the Sahelo–Saharan region.

In an interview, Ambassador Susanne Baumann, Deputy Federal Commissioner for Disarmament and Arms Control at the German Federal Foreign Office explains the joint AU–Germany project and the outcomes of the high-level meeting on 16 October.

Interview with Ambassador Susanne Baumann (in English)

Interview with Ambassador Susanne Baumann (in German)



Ambassador Susanne Baumann (Germany) together with Ambassador Smail Chergui (Algeria)

Ambassador Smail Chergui together with Ambassador Joachim Schmidt, Ambassador Susanne Baumann and Thomas Goebel, Head of Division, German Foreign Office (clockwise from left)


Conclusion of the meeting (in French)

Conclusion of the meeting (in English)


Report of the meeting (in French)

Report of the meeting (in English)