West Africa - SahelMissions Operations

EUTM Mali. The Belgian helicopters leave this summer. And then private?

A helicopter model: very useful for appearing without being… (credit: NGV/B2)

(BRUSSELS2) Belgium could extend by a few weeks the mission of the two Belgian helicopters and their crews present at Bamako airport, for medical support of the European mission EUTM Mali (training of the Malian army). But it is in no way a question of of a renewal », According to an officer. The helicopters will be withdrawn during the summer, probably before the end of July. This extension is just intended to “bond” with the other crews who should arrive on site. For the moment, no State having firmly proposed means, it is the contractual, private solution that could be retained.

Comments : this is not serious ! If the European Union is not capable of providing two “damn” helicopters, to carry out missions which have an overall limited and rather peaceful risk (medical support is not the protection force), it falls to the rank of ridiculous.

Some countries can already look into the question of the interest of maintaining an army, of spending a few million euros on men and training. Among the countries that could invest more in the EUTM mission, I will cite a few — Germany, Finland, the Netherlands, Poland, the United Kingdom, Sweden, etc. — whose effort is largely underqualified in relation to their material and financial capabilities.

I think that for the next positions which will be recruited at the EEAS, we could (should) add a criterion: proportion of the effort made. Perhaps the “indolent” would find a reason to get moving…

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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