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Luik discussed the situation in North Africa with the President of Mali and the leaders of military missions
Luik discussed the situation in North Africa with the President of Mali and the leaders of military missions.
Minister of Defence Jüri Luik met yesterday, in Bamako, with the President of the Republic of Mali, Ibrahim Boubakar Keita, and the leadership of the UN peacekeeping mission MINUSMA, European Union Training Mission EUTM Mali, and the French-led operation Barkhane, in order to discuss the security and humanitarian situation that has developed in Mali and the other countries in the region, and questions concerning Task Force Takuba, which is set to begin operations soon.
Estonia is the first country to accept an invitation from the French to send special operations forces to Mali to reinforce Operation Barkhane and Malian military forces. Their mission is primarily to provide tactical training, advice, assistance and support to local Malian units, and to provide assurance and support to Malian military forces in conducting operations. The Task Force is set to begin operations in the summer of this year.
‘The current threat level in Mali has not changed, but what we are clearly seeing lately is terrorists with the skills and capability to carry out suicide attacks, which most certainly requires the attention of our allies as well as our support in order to deal with the situation and neutralize threats quickly and effectively. Hence the need to send additional forces to Mali, which Estonia, as a responsible member of the international community, is prepared to do’, said Minister of Defence Luik.
Estonia is participating in three different operations in Mali. Estonia is currently contributing nearly 50 servicemen to the French-led Operation Barkhane. Staff officers and instructors from the Estonian Defence Forces are serving as part of the UN peacekeeping mission MINUSMA and the European Union training mission EUTM Mali.