European Task Force Takuba to deploy to Sahel this summer

by Jeremy Binnie

Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, the Netherlands, and Portugal have all committed troops to a new French-led special forces mission in the Sahel region called Task Force Takuba, the French Ministry of Armed Forces announced after a meeting of defence ministers on 27 March.

An NH90 helicopter lands to pick up soldiers during Operation ‘Monclar’ that French and Malian forces carried out in Mali’s Liptako region from 3-23 March. (Armée Française)

An NH90 helicopter lands to pick up soldiers during Operation ‘Monclar’ that French and Malian forces carried out in Mali’s Liptako region from 3-23 March. (Armée Française)

“The Takuba Task Force should reach its initial operational capacity in the summer of 2020 and its full operational capacity in early 2021,” the ministry said. “The Takuba Task Force will be able, by its structure, to act quickly and adapt to the evolution of the threat posed by terrorist groups. It will play a key role in the rapid empowerment of local armed forces.”

It said the taskforce will mainly consist of European special forces backed by the necessary support assets. It will be under the command of France’s Operation ‘Barkhane’ regional counter-insurgency mission, but will have a high level of autonomy. It will work closely with the G5 Sahel Joint Force that is made up of battalions from Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger.

It will operate in Liptako: a region that spans eastern Burkina Faso, southwest Niger, and southeast of central Mali. This is the main operating area of the regional Islamic State faction, which France has identified as “the priority enemy” in the Sahel.

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/european-task-force-takuba-to-deploy-to-sahel-this-summer

Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, the Netherlands, and Portugal have all committed troops to a new French-l...

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