Category Archives: peacekeeping

EU defence ministers to visit Sahel

The French Defence minister Florence Parly (pictured) expected to arrive to the Sahel on Sunday January 19 with her counterparts from Estonia, Sweden and Portugal, the countries ready to support Barkhane’s trooops in the fight against jihadist armed groups.

“I am going to the Sahel on Sunday, I will be accompanied by the Swedish Minister for Defense, as well as by the Estonian Minister for Defense and finally the Portuguese Minister“, said Florence Parly on Europe 1.

We will continue to support our Sahelian partners and, in addition, we are calling for internationalization, for partners to join us to help the countries of the Sahel to fight this fight,” she added.

Estonia has confirmed its participation in the future coalition of special forces (“Takuba”) which France has taken the initiative to support by 4,500 troops of Barkhane in the Sahel. Sweden and Portugal could also be present.

We are not alone and there will certainly be more of us there when, in the summer, this Takuba force, which will be made up of European special forces, will be able to accompany the Malian armed forces,” said Florence Parly.

“Barkhane does not act alone. The last operation that we conducted recently, more than 50% of the forces that were involved in this operation were partner forces, Sahelian and European. ”

Barkhane: France sends 220 troops

Faced with a persistent jihadist threat, the leaders of the G5 Sahel countries and France announced the establishment of a new operational framework with redefined priorities and concentrated action on the so-called “three borders” area between Mali , Niger and Burkina Faso.

The military coalition will have a “joint command” between the Barkhane force and the joint force of the G5 Sahel, “by integrating our intelligence forces, our military forces” in the area of the three borders, “with a much stronger latitude of engagement. ”, said Emmanuel Macron.

“Beyond that, I decided to engage additional combat capabilities – 220 soldiers to initiate this dynamic will swell the troops already present on the Barkhane field”, which currently counts 4,500 men, added the French head of state.

“The priority is the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (EIGS), which does not prevent us from fighting all the armed terrorist groups but it is the priority enemy because the most dangerous,” he said. for follow-up. A month after threatening to withdraw French troops from the region in a context of anti-French sentiment, Emmanuel Macron estimated that he had obtained the necessary “clarification” from his partners who in a joint declaration expressed the wish to see the Barkhane operation.

Barkhane: French troops neutralise militants

French troops neutralised 33 militants on in Mali near the border with Mauritania, French President Emmanuel Macron said. (Image: archive)

“This morning, thanks to an engagement by our soldiers and the Barkhane forces, we were able to neutralize 33 terrorists, take one prisoner and free two Malian gendarmes who had been held hostage,” Macron said during in a speech in Ivory Coast.

French army command confirmed the death toll in the operation, taking place overnight near the Mauritanian border about 150 km northwest of the town of Mopti in Mal.

Inates: IS claims attack in Niger

Islamic State terrorist group claims the attack on Inates miliatry camp in Niger close to Mali border. They have killed at least 71 soldiers in an offensive on a military base in western Niger – the deadliest in several years.

The militants, indending to establish Caliphate on the Sahel territories, and linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group (IS) have staged attacks in the Sahel region this year despite the presence of thousands of regional and foreign troops.

Operation Barkhane is an ongoing anti-insurgent operation in Africa’s Sahel, launched in August 2014. It consists of a 4,500-strong French troops, which is permanently headquartered in N’Djamena the capital of Chad. The operation has been composed with five countries – former French colonies:  Sahel: Burkina Faso,Chad, Mali, Niger, Mauritania.

Sahel meeting in Paris postponed

Today at doorstep of the European Council  in Brussels French President Macron announced the a postponement to early 2020 of a meeting of Sahel countries, he said.

I made the decision yesterday with President Issoufou to postpone” the summit “because of the many deaths that Niger unfortunately suffered two days ago,” said Emmanuel Macron on Thursday upon his arrival at the European Council in Brussels.

The decision to postpone the event, which was to address French military presence in the region as well as the fight against terrorsit groups engaged in jihad, follows an attack on a remote military camp in Niger.

Islamist militants killed 71 soldiers in an attack on a military camp located near the border with Mali, an army spokesman said on Wednesday, in the deadliest raid against the Nigerien military in living memory.

AMENDED:

The attack on the the military camp near border with Mali lasted three hours, and claimed lives of 71 soldiers, and forced President Mahamadou Issoufou to shorten his trip to Egypt.

Announced  early December by the French head of state at the end of the NATO summit in London, the African event was aimed to bring together the leaders of the G5 Sahel (Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad) and clarify the framework of intervention of France in the region.

“It is a need that responds to the observation of growing incomprehension in national public opinion, in the Sahel and in France,” said a source at the ElysĂ©e Palace. “You have to be able to come out of this summit with a common expression that recalls why France is there to support.”

Launched in August 2014, Operation Barkhane mobilizes some 4,500 French soldiers against the jihadist groups active in the region, soldiers called to be replaced by G5 Sahel force made up of 5,000 men from the local armies.

But in recent years, the French presence and that of 13,000 Blue Helmets of the MINUSMA  in Mali have been questioned by inhabitants and militants who denounce “occupation forces”.

EU strong support to MINUSMA

On Sunday morning, the peacekeepers were again targeted in Mali by those who want to spread fear and division.

The terrorist attack on a MINUSMA camp deployed in northern Mali caused the death of eight Chadian contingent soldiers, as well as dozens of wounded.

The European Union extends its sincere condolences to the families of the victims, Chad, Mali and the United Nations, and wishes a speedy recovery to the wounded. This attack also strikes the entire international community. Those responsible must be arrested and prosecuted” says the statement of the European External Actions Service spokesperson.

We reiterate our strong support for those who work for the restoration of peace in Mali, such as MINUSMA and Barkhane. The European Union will continue to work alongside Mali in this direction, as well as with the other G5 Sahel countries – some of which have recently been attacked – to roll back terrorism and allow people to live in safety and harmony. The recent resumption of Joint Force operations, which the European Union strongly supports, is in this respect a favorable development.”

EU Defence ministers examine training in Africa

The EU Council reviews the training missions deployed in Central African Republic, Mali and Somalia. It is be the opportunity to review the functioning of the military planning and conduct capability (MPCC). Established in June 2017, the MPCC oversees EU training missions

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