French defence minister meets Malian counterpart


France’s defence minister Florence Parly has met with her Malian counterpart Sadio Camara to discuss the political transition in the North African country.

Parly met Camara on 27 January, the French Ministry of Defence said.

In addition to discussing the political transition, Parly also recalled France’s commitment alongside Mali in the fight against terrorism. She praised the recent successes achieved by the Malian armed forces in Mondoro and Boulikessi in the face of attacks by armed terrorist groups, as well as the efficiency of the units engaged in Operation Eclipse.

The ministers agreed on the need to continue the effort to strengthen the Malian military. The empowerment of Sahelian forces remains an essential objective in the fight against armed terrorist groups. Parly underlined the level of commitment of the international community, and welcomed the measures taken by the Malian authorities to ensure strict respect for international humanitarian law by the armed forces.

Parly and Camara welcomed the rise of Task Force Takuba, whose operational deployments are intensifying. This force will be in charge in a few months of supporting the Malian armed forces in the Liptako region, the Ministry of Defence said.

The meeting also enabled the two ministers to discuss the next N’Djamena summit scheduled for 15 and 16 February, which will allow the Sahel countries, France and their international partners to take stock of the actions carried out since the summit.

Parly recalled the importance of international cooperation in order to offer a coordinated and comprehensive response, of which the military component is only one component, to the security challenges facing the Sahel.

On 26 January Parly met with Issoufou Katambé, Minister of Defence of Niger to discuss regional security.

During the meeting, said she hoped local training courses would begin quickly, in particular with the next deployment in Niger of the European training mission (EUTM). The two ministers also welcomed the prospect of the Takuba Task Force continuing to grow.