Civil Guard leads the GAR-SI SAHEL Project to guarantee stability and the fight against terrorism and organized crime in SAHEL

The objective of the project, which has already trained 1,734 gendarmes, is cooperation to guarantee stability in the area and the fight against organized crime and terrorism.

The Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, accompanied by the general director of the Civil Guard, María Gámez Gámez, presented the results of the first two phases of the GAR project in the offices of the General Directorate of the Civil Guard. -SI Sahel, led by Spain and directed by the Civil Guard. The project, which is being carried out in the G-5 countries of the Sahel (Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Chad) also involves the French National Gendarmerie, the Italian Police Force and the Republican National Guard of Portugal.

The general objective of this project is cooperation to guarantee stability in the area, the improvement of the operational capacities of the authorities of these countries, the improvement of security for their citizens and respect for human rights, as well as the fight against organized crime and terrorism.

The project began in March 2017 with the constitution of the management team and the progressive deployment of the coordinators in two phases and different stages. In the first phase of the project, seven units were created, comprising a total of 818 gendarmes, and in the second, 916 others have been created. Altogether, 1,734 gendarmes have been trained.

Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska has expressed Spain’s interest in continuing with the project. “We must continue working together. The joint effort is offering results and this encourages us to continue collaborating to launch the third phase ”, he added today during his speech at the General Directorate of the Civil Guard. For the director of FIIAPP, Anna Terrón, “security in the region is a condition for stability and, therefore, for sustainable and inclusive development.” FIIAPP started this project in December 2016.

GAR-SI unit
The training proposal developed by the Civil Guard consists of the creation of company-type units, made up of members of the local security forces with military status, for the control of the territory and the fight against organized crime, including terrorism.

These units have the necessary autonomy to carry out their missions. In order to carry out their duties, they receive special training in the fight against dangerous crime, but also in nature protection, judicial police and intelligence, also including a specific module on human rights, gender and illicit trafficking.

The Rapid Action Surveillance and Intervention Groups (GAR-SI) arise on the model of the Rapid Action Group of the Civil Guard. This Unit was created in Spain at the beginning of the 80s in order to face the terrorist threat and guarantee the effective control of the state over the territory. In addition, GAR-SI benefits from the African experience and lessons learned from the GAR unit in Senegal, supplemented by security and intervention training provided by the French National Gendarmerie and enriched by contributions from European police experts participating in the project.

The characteristics of these units are the robustness to face all types of threats, the flexibility to adapt their techniques and procedures to the situation gradually and the application of appropriate measures to respond proportionally to the entity of the threat. These units have a high degree of mobility, which will allow them to cover large areas and react quickly and effectively to face any circumstance. The combination of these characteristics contributes an added value to these units to fulfill their main objective, the control of the territory.