EUTM Mali continue its activity

Despite the expectation of the closure of the mission in May 2023, EUTM Mali continue its activity.

This year 2021 the European Training Mission in Mali celebrated its eight birthday. Since 2013 and on request of the Malian authorities, the European Union Training Mission in Mali provides advice, training and education to the Malian Armed Forces. EUTM is helping the Malian authorities to build an independent and impartial armed force. The EU training force is composed of almost 1000 soldiers from 25 European countries. Regarding EUTM’s structure, the Advisory Task Force (ATF) and the Educational and Training Task Force (ETTF) are by far the most important pillars in the realm of assisting the Malian and G5 Sahel Armed Forces.

Following the strategic review process, the Council of the European Union has decided to extend the mandate of EUTM Mali until 18 May 2024. The Council also authorized the extension of EUTM Mali’s area of operations to provide military assistance to the G5 Sahel countries (Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad and Mauritania). Supporting the operationalization of the G5 Sahel Joint Force is therefore not a new aspect of EUTM Mali’s mandate. To support the G5 Sahel countries, EUTM Mali will follow a phased approach and engage in support outside Mali’s borders, where conditions and resources will allow it, with priority given to Burkina Faso and Niger.

The Public Affairs Office of EUTM Mali united a panel for an in-depth interview regarding the mission execution. Hence, who else is more qualified than the Mission Force Commander himself, the Deputy Commander, the Executive Staff to explain the activities, achievements and the way ahead of EUTM Mali?

The panel is composed of the Mission Force Commander, Brigadier General Gracia, ESP Army; the Deputy Commander, Colonel Boeddeker, DEU Air Force; the Advisory Task Force Commander, Colonel Henkinet, BEL Army; and the Educational and Training Task Force Commander, Colonel Dengra Tello, ESP Army.

Q.           Col Henkinet, can you tell us about the training mission? Moreover, which different activities is EUTM Mali carrying out?

A.            EUTM Mali is providing advice, trainings and educations to the Malian Forces and G5 Sahel Joint Force. The kind of training ranges from the basic training of soldiers including but not limited to marksmanship and first aid in combat, to the education of General Staff Officers and specialized disciplines such as Intelligence, Counter-Improvised Explosive Devices, Indirect Fires, etc. At every instruction, we ensure that soldiers are given an understanding and appreciation of international humanitarian law. This is something EUTM Mali want to instil in all soldiers it trains and at all command levels. I have to emphasize that whatever training or courses we deliver is requested by the Malian Armed Forces and tailor-made to meet their requirements. Training demands continue to increase significantly and the required course content and training syllabi become more and more diverse. A very important training element for the Malian Armed forces is the train-the-trainer program. The intent is that such a program will one day give the Malian Armed Forces the capability and capacity to conduct training and education courses without external support from EUTM Mali. I witnessed with great pleasure that in the last intelligence course we provided in the second half of May 2021 to FAMa, that three former FAMa graduates were now part of the teaching staff. (…)

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