Sweden is preparing to deploy about 150 special forces to support the French-led Operation Barkhane in Mali.
The Special Forces are getting ready to participate in the multinational task force Takuba, part of the French-led Operation Barkhane, at the turn of 2020/2021, the Swedish Armed Forces said.
The expansion of armed terrorist groups in the region is detrimental to peace, security and development. The task force is charged with supporting and escorting parts of the Malian army, as well as international partners, thereby supporting the efforts of ensuring more security in Mali and the Sahel.
The Swedish unit comprises some 150 staff with a variety of competences and skills that are ready to manage threats and risks, the Swedish Armed Forces said.
“The primary purpose of Sweden’s participation in this mission is to enable the task force Takuba to enhance the work of the Malian security forces. Through our participation, Sweden is also assisting France, leader of Operation Barkhane, in a regional crisis management effort that is vital to Europe”, Brigadier General Anders Löfberg, head of Special Forces Command, said.
Sweden announced in March this year that it was going to send troops to Mali.
Sweden has had a small number of troops in Mali since 2013 as part of the United Nations’ Multi-dimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission.
France, the former colonial power, has 5 100 troops in Mali and the wider Sahel, but security has progressively worsened since it intervened in 2013 to stop a jihadist advance to Bamako.