Danish Hercules C-130J transport aircraft. Photo: Danish Defence.
The Danish effort in the Sahel region (MINUSMA and Operation Barkhane)
Denmark has contributed to the UN’s mission in Mali, MINUSMA, since 2014 and has twice provided a C-130J transport aircraft for the mission, most recently in 2017. In 2016, Danish special operation forces were part of a Dutch Task Group in the Gao region in Mali. The primary tasks consisted of patrol activities, monitoring tasks and area analysis. In 2015-2016 a Danish major general served as force commander for MINUSMA. In addition, Denmark has provided substantial financial support to MINUSMA. Currently, Denmark contributes with three staff officers to the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali (MINUSMA).
Currently, Denmark contributes with a transport aircraft to MINUSMA as part of a rotation concept with Belgium, Norway and Portugal where the participating countries send a transport aircraft to MINUSMA for app. six months each. The Danish transport aircraft was deployed in mid November 2019 and will be part of MINUSMA until mid May 2020. The rotation concept was initiated by the Nordic countries in 2016 and currently continues until November 2020. In addition, Denmark currently provides three staff officers to the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali (MINUSMA).
Upcoming deployment to the Sahel region
In October 2019, the Danish Parliament decided to continue the Danish engagement in MINUSMA with two new deployments: Firstly a personnel contribution of up to 10 persons to gather information for MINUSMA. Placed in Gao in Mali the personnel contribution is planned to be deployed from early 2020 until the end of the year.
In addition, the Danish Parliament approved to deploy a military contribution to the French-led Operation Barkhane to support the international effort to counter terrorism in the Sahel region. The Danish contribution will consist of two transport helicopters and up to app. 70 troops and is expected to be deployed at the end of 2019 for a twelve month period.
On 24 October 2019 the Danish Parliament adopted motion B6 for a Danish military contribution in support of MINUSMA and motion B7 for a Danish military contribution in support of Operation Barkhane.
MINUSMA was established in 2013, authorized by the UN Security Council (Resolution 2100). The purpose of MINUSMA is to support the implementation of a ceasefire between the government of Mali and the armed groups "Platform" and "Coordination" and to protect civilians, among other things. The mission has the authority to use all necessary means (including military means) to carry out its mandate. The current authorisation is for a maximum of 13,289 soldiers and 1,920 policemen. Apart from Denmark, the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali is also supported by The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Germany, among others.
Read more about the MINUSMA mission at UN.org
Background: Operation Barkhane
France has established Operation Barkhane to counter terrorism in the Sahel-region. Currently, app. 4.500 French troops are deployed in the operation to which also Great Britain (helicopters) and Estonia (infantry unit) contributes. The area of operations covers Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauretania and Niger. In 2013, Denmark provided a transport aircraft to the French-led, Operation Serval, which was the forerunner to Operation Barkhane. Denmark has not previously contributed to Operation Barkhane.
This article in Danish