Tag Archives: Estonia

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. ”

EU determined to support to Sahel

“On the Sahel and the Horn of Africa, all the Member States, all ministers expressed strong support to an increased work of the European Union in both regions, as both of them are strategically important for the security of the European citizens. In the Sahel, the European Union has few weeks ago provided the first €50 million to the Joint Force of the G5 countries of the Sahel [Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad] to prevent and fight terrorist networks and trafficking organisations in the territory,” –  from remarks by High Representative Federica Mogherini at the press conference following the informal meeting of EU Ministers of Defence in Tallinn, Estonia.

“I have seen large support from all Member States on more presence, and a more coordinated presence, of the European Union on the security and defence aspects in the Sahel, as well as on the Horn of Africa. As you know, there our main work is focussing on Somalia and also with the Operation Atlanta that has been fighting very effectively piracy of the coast of the Horn of Africa” – Mogherini concluded.