(B2) Most of the Swedish multinational special forces of Task Force Takuba are now in place in Mali. So says Brigadier General Anders Löfberg, Chief of Special Forces Command
A major commitment
The Swedish commitment is today one of the largest European commitments on the ground, with 150 soldiers, some from special forces, others from conventional forces. Their task: assist, advise and accompany the Malian security forces ". It can, if necessary, be reinforced by 100 additional personnel, according to the authorization given by Parliament.
Helicopters in Menaka, C-130 in Niamey
The Swedes are also forming a helicopter-borne rapid intervention force, based in Ménaka, in northeastern Mali, which is very useful for reacting in the event of an incident. With three UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters. While a transport plane, type C-130 Hercules, will be based in Niamey, in Niger, to provide tactical, even strategic transport.
Capable of intervening in Mali as in Niger
These soldiers will be able to operate in Mali, as in Niger. This is the principle of the Takuba task force which operates in the Three Borders area. The Swedish Parliament authorized this double intervention (1). Duration of their commitment: until December 31, 2021.
A bastion of violence
The country has become a stronghold for pro-violence Islamist groups, including groups linked to Daesh and Al-Qaeda ". The Malian population is severely affected by criminal and Islamist terrorist groups ". And in recent years, we have noted “ an increase in criminal activities such as the illegal trade in weapons, drugs and people, kidnappings and terrorist acts ". The special forces are the only possible resource in the fight against terrorist groups because they can be deployed quickly in different parts of the country and thus prevent the escalation of conflicts and the spread of terrorism “, indicates Anders Löfberg according to the website of the Swedish army.
A presence in the Minusma also and a little in EUTM Mali
This is not Sweden's only commitment in the region. Sweden also contributes troops to the UN mission, MISNUMA, with 215 soldiers, and the EU training mission (EUTM Mali) with 8 soldiers.
- We can notice a major absentee, Burkina-Faso, which has not yet authorized such an operation on its soil. Ouagadougou has always been reluctant to this type of intervention.
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