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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Monday, 10.08.2020, 18:45

Estonian special operations forces start service in Mali

BC, Tallinn, 16.07.2020.Print version

A unit of personnel of the Special Operations Command of Estonia  started service in the operation Takuba in Mali this week, informs LETA/BNS.

The Estonian special operations troops will be based at the same base at Gao that already serves as base for the Estonian infantry platoon and the national support element serving in the operation Barkhane. 

"Estonian special operations personnel are participating in the operation at the invitation of France and Mali. We've been active in desert conditions also earlier, and we will deploy that experience in Mali," said the head of the Special Operations Command, Lt. Col. Margus Kuul. 

"The actions of the special operations personnel have a strategic impact, as terrorism knows no national borders. Special operations must be carried out where they have the most effective impact on terrorists," Kuul said, adding that members of Estonian special operations forces have received the best possible training to carry out important and complex special assignments.

France has made a proposal to Estonia and other countries of Europe to increase their contribution to the operation Barkhane with a special operations unit and to together start cooperation between special operations forces in advising the armed forces of Mali. 

To do this, a task force called Takuba was established under the anti-insurgency operation Barkhane, within whose framework the armed forces of Mali are trained, advised, assisted and supported in the conduct of operations. 

The objective of the operation Barkhane is to support the governments of the five Sahel region countries Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Chad in their fight against Islamic extremists and thereby to prevent illegal migration and trafficking of people to Europe. 

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