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The Hungarians arrive in Takuba

(B2) That's it. It's decided. Budapest formally submitted to its parliament this week a proposal to initiate its participation in the European task force engaged in the Sahel

Special forces in training (Photo: Kormany HU / B2 Archives)

Task force initiated by France, but which will soon be commanded by a Swede.

80 men maximum

Hungarian participation will not only be symbolic. Hungary plans to hire up to 80 soldiers (maximum ceiling). In reality, they will probably be a little less. But they will be at the forehead ". Hungarian special operations forces will ensure the “ advising, supporting and mentoring Malian forces in combat “, specifies the resolution.

Two-year commitment

The first Hungarian contingent should be deployed in the first quarter of 2022. But a first preparatory deployment of around twenty soldiers should take place by the end of 2021. There will then be a four-month rotation. adapting to Takuba's operational tasks and strategy implementation ". The duration of the commitment — according to the declaration made to the national Parliament — is two years, until December 2023.

Gesture of solidarity and political objective

For Budapest, this commitment is justified by " the desire to be an active and credible contributor to Euro-Atlantic security ". But also for a reason that resonates particularly in the Hungarian countryside: migratory pressure. " One of the causes of pressure from the south is the terrorist threat in the sub-Saharan region » explains Szilárd Németh, the Parliamentary State Secretary for Defense. Hungary " is therefore ready to increase its contribution to security in the region. It is in our national interest to play a role He adds.

NB: this commitment from Hungary was sealed during an interview between French President Emmanuel Macron and his alter ego Hungarian Viktor Orban, a few months ago already. Interview which also had a very political value as an armistice in the skirmishes between the two leaders. We can think that the fulfillment of the commitment by Budapest should be pledged on reciprocity from Paris on other issues.

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

Agnes Faure st. contributed to this article

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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