Mali – A new general has taken command of the EU training mission in Mali (EUTM). A number of European embassies as well as Malian military brass were present at the ceremony, which took place on Tuesday in Bamako, the Malian capital. The action comes after Mali announced that it had accepted 1,000 UN forces from neighboring Chad.
Serving on this mission is a great honor for me, and I have a great deal of respect for the Malian people and military. The mission is really important”, stated the new EUTM commander, Christian Riener. The accord was reached as France announced a reduction in its troop presence in the country.
Hervé Bléjean, Director General of the European Union Military Staff, added: We’re working for the G5 combined force’s benefit, training them and providing them with equipment. We have priority countries outside of Mali within this framework, but I want to emphasize that Mali is, without a doubt, our top priority.”
Paris has already dismantled three army bases in Northern Mali, reducing its presence in the nation from 5,100 personnel to around 3,000 by next year.
Mali is the epicenter of a jihadist insurgency that began in the country’s north in 2012 and extended to neighboring Niger and Burkina Faso three years later.