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Danes deploy to Mali: Minusma first, then Barkhane

(B2) Denmark confirmed on Tuesday (November 13) the dispatch of a C130J Hercules transport plane to Mali as part of the peacekeeping mission (MINUSMA). This is the first of three deployments planned in the coming months. Copenhagen will also provide helicopters to Operation Barkhane and an intelligence unit for MINUSMA

The C130J Hercules plane of the Danish forces took off today from Aalborg, direction: Bamako (credit: MOD Denmark)

Based in Bamako

65 soldiers — pilots, mechanics, support staff, interpreters — accompany the plane as well as a medical unit (doctors and nurses) and a security unit responsible for guarding the international camp, the plane and the maintenance facilities, as to secure the device when traveling. They should be operational from mid-November. They will be based at Bamako international airport, in the international camp managed by Norway. This for six months.

A multi-role aspect

The Danish pilots will provide the internal flights in Mali necessary for MINUSMA, but they will also be able to " exceptionally perform transport duties on behalf of MINUSMA in other West and North African countries » specifies the Ministry of Defense. The device will have a multi-role aspect: transport of troops, equipment, repatriation of sick and wounded. It is equipped to be able to drop equipment in flight with a parachute, as well as a search and rescue aid and aerial image recovery device.

Guaranteed rotation with three other countries

This contribution from Copenhagen is part of a rotation program concluded with Belgium, Norway and Portugal aimed at permanently providing a C-130 transport aircraft to MINUSMA. The Danes have already been present in MINUSMA in 2014 and 2017.

Two other contributions

At the end of 2019, the armed forces will send two transport helicopters and around 70 people to Mali to support Operation Barkhane. They will complement and then relay the British helicopters.

At the beginning of 2020, a dozen soldiers will also join MINUSMA, to form with the Germans a German intelligence unit which will be based at the large Gao camp of the United Nations force. Objective: to collect and analyze information on the situation in Mali.

« We want to support stability and security throughout the region so that it is not under the control of extremists and traffickers said Defense Minister Trine Bramsen.


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).