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Takuba: the operational task force. Successful bet according to Florence Parly

(B2) Three ministers, no less, traveled to Mali to confirm, on March 31, the full operational capacity of this force made up of Europeans. A symbol

The three ministers F. Parly (France), K. Laanet (Estonia) and L. Metnar (Czechia) alongside the Malian Minister of Defense Sadio Camara (credit: Armáda ČR)

A trip as a trio

The Frenchwoman Florence Parly, the Estonian, Kalle Laanet and the Czech, Lubomir Metnar, have just completed, on Friday (April 2), a joint trip to Mali, to three locations: Bamako, Gao and Ménaka (1). That is to say the three bases where a few dozen European soldiers are deployed today. from special forces. With one objective: to train, advise and support Malian units in combat in Liptako, according to the well-known triptych of international operations: train, advise, mentor.

  • NB: A minister was absent: the Swede, while the Nordic country deployed one of the largest contingents (about 150 men) on the spot and four very precious helicopters.

About twenty missions already carried out

The first operations began in the fall, mainly with the Estonians, who were the first deployed. “ The first operational results are positive » assures the general staff of the armies in a communicated. Takuba's soldiers have already participated in " more than twenty missions "and was engaged in fire" Many times ". It was notably deployed in “ the last major operations by Barkhane: Bourrasque and Eclipse.

A European symbol

France is very proud of having achieved this feat of associating several European countries with its Barkhane operation. There " success of an unprecedented European initiative », with a level of operational partnership « unmatched ". This testifies to " the growing commitment of Europeans to the fight against terrorism beyond their borders ” assures the French Ministry of the Armed Forces (1). In the field, this allows combat support for the Malian armed forces » (what we call in military jargon the 'mentoring'). But the Takuba task force is not just that. Today it is a “ real combat integration laboratory » European partners. This makes it possible to test interoperability » troops (3). Launched just a year ago, on March 27, 2020 at the initiative of France, the Takuba task force is part of Operation Barkhane. Italy has started its deployment. " Other countries will join Takuba in the coming months we are assured in Paris.

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

  1. During their visit to Bamako, the ministers were also due to meet the president of the transition (following the military coup), Bah N'Daw, the vice-president of the transition Colonel Goïta, and the Minister of Defense, Sadio Camara.
  2. We remember that after the Bataclan attacks in Paris, France triggered the European Union's solidarity clause (article 42-7) to obtain help from Europeans.
  3. It is in fact the operational complement of the European intervention initiative, designed rather as a doctrine laboratory, at the politico-military level.

Read also about the staff on site:

And our interview with Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist:

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).