Troops have returned from a successful month-long operation to conducting deep reconnaissance and deterring terrorist groups in Mali.
The Long Range Recce Group (Mali) deployed on Op SEKA, from their base in Gao, with orders to recce the area of operations, to protect the local population and deter hostile activity. During the deployment, the group covered more than 1500km and visited more than 60 villages to conduct local engagement.As part of the UK’s commitment to the UN operation in Mali (MINUSMA) troops from the Light Dragoons and 2 Royal Anglian deployed on Op SEKA, a security operation to provide enhanced and enduring security along the main supply route from GAO to Ansongo and the surrounding areas.Op SEKA worked with partner contributing troops and civilians from other UN nations – including Mali - to enable a persistent presence which deterred violent activity and ensured freedom of movement for friendly forces, and protection for local communities. This has enabled the LRRG(M) - as part of the wider mission - to prevent, anticipate and rapidly react to threats against civilians and increase security in the region. After a month long patrol, covering 1500km in 40 degree heat, our hard work paid off with a significant reduction in violence against the locals and prevented the terrorist groups from moving and acting with impunity. Lt Col Tom Robinson - Commanding Officer, Light DragoonsThe off-road manoeuvrability of the Light Dragoons Jackal 2 and Coyote, vehicles enabled the task group probe deep over incredibly challenging terrain in 40 degree heat to engage with the local population in remote areas, not previously reached by security forces; while Foxhounds of the 2 Company Royal Anglian were used in the large population centres on the Main Supply Route, all to enable an understanding of the needs of local communities. Throughout the Operation British troops worked with UN soldiers from countries such as Sweden, Norway, Germany, Nigeria, Mali and France to help shape operations and co-ordinate activity in the region. This is an essential part of the MINUSMA mission to ensure the force is united in its effort to bring peace and stability to the region. Op SEKA was hugely successful and has provided opportunities for the Task Group to work with other nations in ensuring the protection of civilians and the deterrence of armed groups. Local people also said they felt safer as a result of the work of the LRRG.As well as troops in Gao, there are UK forces in the capital Bamako, and a CH47 (Chinook) force supporting the French on their operation in Mali – known as Op BARKHANE. The training of the LRRG, using lessons learned from UK experience on other operations, has prepared the Group for more widespread threats across the country. Lieutenant Colonel Tom Robinson, Commanding Officer of the Light Dragoons, said:“Op SEKA was our first opportunity to make a real contribution to the UN mission. We did this by focussing our efforts on understanding what the challenging security situation meant to the local population and how best we, our UN partner forces and the civilian mission together could help address them.“After a month long patrol, covering 1500km in 40 degree heat, our hard work paid off with a significant reduction in violence against the locals and prevented the terrorist groups from moving and acting with impunity.”The UK commitment to Mali demonstrates the kind of deployments which will be increasing as part of Future Soldier, the Army’s transformation plan. The Army will not just train in case of war but will be continuously working to keep the country safe. Having more regularly deployed troops– ‘persistent presence’ – gives us the ability to anticipate and react quicker to emerging crises.
Tropa de elite portuguesa regressa ao Mali em missão contraterrorismoTotal de 14 militares na força-tarefa ‘Takuba’. Forças Armadas na luta contra o terror de Boko Haram, Daesh e Al-Qaeda.
Tropa de elite portuguesa regressa ao Mali em missão contraterrorismoTotal de 14 militares na força-tarefa ‘Takuba’. Forças Armadas na luta contra o terror de Boko Haram, Daesh e Al-Qaeda.Portugal vai enviar em breve uma equipa de 12 militares de operações especiais do Exército para a força-tarefa "Takuba", no Mali, que conta com tropas de elite de nove países europeus e está integrada na operação francesa "Barkhane" de combate ao terrorismo no Sahel, faixa que atravessa vários países africanos e que tem sido aterrorizada pelos grupos Boko Haram, Daesh e Al-Qaeda no Magrebe Islâmico, apurou o CM."A TF 'Takuba' é comandada por um oficial francês , atua na dependência do comando da operação 'Barkhane' e tem como missão contribuir para a estabiização do continente africano e do Sahel em particular, prestando aconselhamento, assistência e acompanhamento às Forças Armadas do Mali", confirmou ao CM fonte oficial do Estado-Maior-General das Forças Armadas, que não dá pormenores sobre a origem dos militares que vão integrar a missão - mas que sabemos serem inicialmente dos "Rangers" de Lamego e que, provavelmente, farão rendições com fuzileiros do Destacamento de Ações Especiais da Marinha."No âmbito das Forças Nacionais Destacadas 2021, Portugal deverá participar na TF 'Takuba', numa fase inicial, com dois militares em funções de Estado-Maior no Comando da Missão, e, posteriormente, com mais 12 militares de operações especiais, que integrarão um grupo-tarefa combinado com França", explica o EMGFA. Os dois primeiros militares são do Exército e da Marinha, destacados pelo Comando Conjunto para as Operações Militares português. O empenhamento será de um ano, que será renovável.A 'Takuba' vai ainda colaborar com outras missões, nomeadamente a G5 Sahel, a MINUSMA e as da União Europeia (EUTM Mali, EUCAP Mali e EUCAP Níger), sendo que Portugal participará na maioria. Já este mês, Portugal vai enviar para serviço da MINUSMA um avião C295 e uma equipa de manutenção e proteção de força, no total de quase 70 militares da Força Aérea. Fonte: https://www.cmjornal.pt/mundo/africa/detalhe/tropa-de-elite-portuguesa-regressa-ao-mali-em-missao-contraterrorismo
France’s military camps in Mali are going quiet as Paris winds down its security presence in the restive West African country, but there is one notable exception.Menaka is bustling with activity, boasting brand-new tents, freshly dug trenches, and choppers taking off and landing in a constant ballet in the sky.What was once a quaint army base in France’s Barkhane anti-jihadist operation is rapidly turning into a cornerstone of Takuba, the European force that is to pick up the slack from France’s partial disengagement.The footprint of the camp in northeast Mali has already grown to 30 hectares (75 acres) from the eight it had before, said Captain Josselin as he navigated his way through the busy construction vehicles.Takuba, made up of European special forces, is based on an initiative by France, eager to share the burden of looking after Mali’s security with its partners.Takuba’s 900 soldiers are to help Mali’s army acquire the combat skills necessary to become self-reliant, a daunting task given the volatile situation on the ground.Even after years of a foreign troop presence, jihadists in this border region of the Sahel between Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso continue their incursions and harassment actions.A week ago, a rocket landed in the camp, though it failed to explode. The day before another multi-national camp, at Gao, became the target of a mortar attack.Menaka, usually flooded during the rainy season, has seen some major renovation work.The camp is now crossed by long, well-kept paths. Apart from the usual conversations in French, there is now Czech, Danish, Italian and English heard in the camp, a sign of its international status.At the new air transport zone, heavy Chinook helicopters from Italy and Swedish Blackhawks share the space. A few kilometers away, an abandoned landing strip has been renovated, ready for the army’s air operations.
‘Takubar’Well-equipped fitness rooms, catering areas with TVs, and a foyer — cleverly called “Takubar” — are to help make the soldiers’ tour as agreeable as possible in this semi-desert environment.French President Emmanuel Macron, eager to draw down France’s troops in Mali after nine years of presence here, ordered the evacuation of the three northerly camps, Timbuktu, Kidal, and Tessalit, whose tasks are to be taken over by a joint fighting force.Takuba, which after Menaka and Gao may get more bases such as Gossi in the northeast, spearheads French efforts to commit its European partners to the anti-jihadist fight.The head of Takuba’s operations, a French lieutenant-colonel named Gregory, said it advises, assists and accompanies Malian forces who are hoping to win back areas over which the central government lost control.“All member nations have understood the idea of the mission, although they come from different backgrounds,” he told AFP, giving only his first name as is custom among military personnel.Meanwhile, in a neighboring Malian army camp, a group of French special forces was training local soldiers how to carry out checks on a vehicle transporting potential hostiles.“Move! Hands in the air! Turn around!” one soldier shouts at another one who plays the suspect’s part, with a masked instructor advising him on body search procedure and safe distances to be observed.Marine Lieutenant Rozen, head of the French-Czech task force operating here, said it accompanied the Malian forces six months at a time.“We train them, and then we accompany them on increasingly complex missions,” he said, such as disarming improvised explosive devices, discreetly patrolling villages, and searching potential hideouts.The troops’ morale is intact despite tensions with the regime in Bamako, which has rejected an offer of additional UN peacekeepers.The government is instead looking to the Wagner Group, a private Russian paramilitary unit that is the target of US and European Union sanctions.Any actual deployment of the Wagner mercenaries on the ground here could well be a deal-breaker for the European allies.Macron is trying to talk the government in Bamako out of such a plan but until he succeeds, there is a huge question mark over Takuba’s future.
A contingent of some 90 Danish soldiers has arrived in Mali to join European special forces supporting the country’s anti-jihadist operations, Denmark’s military said Tuesday.The contingent, whose deployment was announced in April, is stationed in Menaka in eastern Mali. Its mandate runs until early 2023.“The aim is to stabilize Mali and parts of the Liptako-Gourma tri-border area between Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso and to ensure the protection of civilians against terrorist groups,” the armed forces said in a statement.Denmark has previously sent troops to participate in military interventions in Mali, some with the UN’s MINUSMA peacekeeping force and others with the French-led Operation Barkhane.The new contingent is joining Task Force Takuba — a 900-troop French-led unit launched in March 2020.Other contributors are the Netherlands, Estonia, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Italy, and Hungary.European countries have raised concern over the deployment of mercenaries from Russia’s Wagner group on Malian soil and Mali’s delayed return to civilian rule after a military coup in August 2020.