European countries form special anti-terrorist force in Mali

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The special unit Takuba will support Mali’s troops under French command from summer. Germany participates politically but does not send soldiers.
With a special unit, eleven European countries – including Germany – want to fight Islamist terrorist militias in Mali. In view of the still worrying security situation in Mali and in the Sahel region as a whole, the country group supported the formation of a special force called Takuba, the participating states said in a joint statement.

Signatories include Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal, the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom and Sweden. Germany’s support for Takuba is primarily political, however.

Takuba “is said to belong to several hundred forces. The Sonderkommando is due to start operating in the Liptako region under French leadership next summer. The border area between Mali and Niger is considered a retreat for jihadist groups.

For the time being, only Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, the Netherlands and Portugal are participating in the project promoted by France. The special forces should also support the French “Barkhane” mission in the Sahel region and a joint force of five Sahel states. The Bundeswehr is deployed to Mali as part of UN and EU missions.

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