Madrid | Four European countries – Germany, Spain, France and Italy – on Friday reaffirmed their desire to maintain their cooperation, especially security, with the Sahel countries, in a joint statement issued in Madrid.
“We will continue the existing initiatives to support the armies of the region, as well as the gendarmerie and the internal security forces in their operations, their training, their training and the reinforcement of their capacities, in particular in relation to the respect of judicial procedures. and human rights ”, affirmed the governments of these four countries in this press release, published shortly after the arrival in Spain of the remains of three Europeans murdered this week in Burkina Faso.
“Faced with the persistent threats to security and the complex socio-economic challenges in the Sahel region, which require urgent responses, we reiterate our commitment to strengthen our support (to the Sahel countries) within the framework of a transversal approach that unites security, governance, stabilization and development, ”the text continues.
The three Europeans killed earlier this week in eastern Burkina Faso – Spanish journalists David Beriáin and Roberto Fraile and Irish Rory Young, president of an NGO for the protection of wildlife – were on patrol anti-poaching formed by Burkinabè soldiers and forest guards who was attacked Monday by armed men.
The two journalists, seasoned reporters familiar with war grounds, were making a documentary on poaching.
These three men are added to the long list of Westerners (journalists or aid workers) victims in recent years of attacks generally attributed to jihadist groups.
The head of Spanish diplomacy gave a statement Thursday in which a jihadist group allegedly claimed responsibility for the attack, but asked the government of Burkina Faso for an investigation so “that all the facts are clarified”.
The West African country has been facing jihadist attacks since 2015, which also affect Mali and Niger.
The Spanish Air Force plane, an Airbus 310, which had taken off overnight from Ouagadougou, landed at 09:00 (07:00 GMT) at the Torrejón de Ardoz air base, east of the Spanish capital, with the bodies of David Beriáin, Roberto Fraile and Rory Young on board.
Spanish Foreign Ministers Arancha González Laya and Defense Ministers Margarita Robles were present on the tarmac to welcome the remains of the three men, whose coffins were carried by 24 officers of the Spanish Air Force .