Denmark deploying special forces to Mali

Proposal aims to assist the French-led Task Force Takuba tackle terrorism in the war-torn west-African country

The government has unveiled intentions to dispatch a special forces unit to Mali.

The group, which will also consist of surgeons and staff officers, will assist the French-led Task Force Takuba tackle terrorism in the embattled west-African country.

Moreover, the government also wants to redeploy a transport aircraft to help the UN-led MINUSMA mission in the country.

“The threat from the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda’s terror violence remains serious. They desire to create an oasis for their extremist violence and regime of death in west Africa,” said foreign minister, Jeppe Kofod.

“That mustn’t happen and as a result Denmark will strengthen our position with special forces and transport aircraft, whilst continuing to use diplomacy, development and humanitarian efforts.”

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A hotbed of violence and poverty
The vast Sahel region in Africa is among the most vulnerable on the planet and has endured a plague of violent conflict and extremism in recent years. 

The area is rife with poverty and the situation has only been exacerbated by climate change, population growth and, more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic

Last year, Mali accounted for the eighth most refugees and irregular migrants coming to the EU.

The Task Force Takuba falls under the scope of the French-led Operation Barkhane, which fights terrorism in Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mauretania and Chad.

The government proposal will require the approval of Parliament, but the special forces group is expected to be deployed sometime in early 2022.