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 Operations Forces were part of a Dutch Task Group in the Gao region in northern 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 one staff officer to the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali (MINUSMA).
Upcoming deployment to the Sahel-region
The Danish Government wants to continue the Danish engagement in MINUSMA. Therefore, in November 2017 Denmark, Belgium, Norway and Portugal agreed to extend the existing rotation concept for the deployment of military transport aircraft from November 2018 to November 2020. At this point it is only a cabinet decision but if the Danish Parliament approves, Denmark is expected to cover the period from November 2019 to May 2020. As part of the rotation concept the participating countries send a transport aircraft to MINUSMA for approx. six months each. The existing rotation concept with Norway, Portugal, Denmark, Sweden and Belgium was initiated on a Nordic initiative in 2016.
In addition, the Danish Government intends 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. Ahead of the deployment the Government will present a motion for adoption concerning the deployment to the Danish Parliament.
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
Mandate for the effort
On December 19th 2013, the Danish Parliament adopted motion B 28 for a Danish military contribution in support of the United Nations peacekeeping operation in Mali within the framework of the UN Security Council Resolution 2100 of 25th April 2013.
On November 17th 2015 the Danish Parliament adopted motion B 26, which sets the framework for the Danish C-130J transport aircraft contribution and the Special Operation Force contribution.
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