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France and allies set up new counterterrorism group in Mali

PARIS, (BM) – France and its allies have created a new anti-terrorism task force in Mali, learned BulgarianMilitary.com according Florence Parley’s statement, the country’s defense minister.

Read more: UK Armed Forces Will Deploy 250 Troops to Mali in Support of the UN Operation

“Today is the launch of the Takuba task force, this alliance of European special forces within the framework of (military operation – ed.) Barkhan, which will join the armed forces of Mali in their mobilization deployment in the face of terrorist armed groups,” Parley wrote on Twitter .

As specified in a joint statement of the participating countries published on the website of the French Ministry of Armed Forces, in addition to France, Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Estonia, Mali, the Netherlands, Niger, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and the Czech Republic participate in the formation of the task force. The formation of the group began at the request of the Malian and Nigerian authorities.

“The security situation in Mali, and more generally in the Sahel, remains a serious concern,” the joint statement said.

It is planned that the initial combat readiness will be achieved in the summer of 2020, and the group will fully begin to operate by the beginning of 2021.

The Sahel is a natural zone of Africa, adjacent to the Sahara from the south in the form of semi-deserts, gradually turning into semi-savannahs.

The outskirts of the greatest desert in the world stretches a strip a few hundred kilometers wide from the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Red Sea in the east. Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad and Cape Verde are located on the territory of the Sahel, in an area comparable to Western Europe.

Read more: Dozens Soldiers Killed in Mali

Since August 1, 2014, France has been carrying out Operation Barkhan in the Sahel region of Africa, whose goal is to stabilize the region and fight terrorism. As part of this operation, France cooperates with Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad.

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