An official ceremony announced the international military exercises dubbed “Flintlock 10” to be supervised in the Malian capital city, Bamako by United S Special Forces with the participation of 12 countries including seven African states.
A Senegalese infantry squad and a US Special Forces brigade have graced the launching ceremony, along with Malian troops.
The “Flintlock10” drills are part of the Trans-Sahara Counter-terrorism Initiative (TSCTI) program aimed at building the regional capacities to better combat terrorism, organized crimes, and cross-border banditry.
“Whether criminals or extremists, the wrong-doers find means to strike together to reach their targets”, US ambassador to Mali, Gilian Milovanovic said at the launch ceremony yesterday.
“This means that the governments must enhance their cooperation and practical capacity to join their forces and combat those threatening our societies”, she added.
Launched in 2005 following the Pan-Sahel Initiative (IPS), the TSCTI program involves countries from the Maghreb (Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco) and Sub-Saharan Africa (Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Chad), with others such as France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom, and USA.