Government Extends Defence Forces’ Participation in EUTM Mali
The Government has today (21 March) approved the Defence Forces’ continued participation in the European Union Training Mission in Mali (EUTM Mali) for a further twelve months.
In accordance with mission requirements, EUTM Mali forces are being substantially reduced. In line with this new configuration for the mission, Ireland is reducing its contribution to eight personnel. Previously, there were 20 members of the Defence Forces deployed in the mission, before this number subsequently reduced to 14.
The Defence Forces have been participating in EUTM since 2013, when eight members were first deployed to the mission. The number of personnel deployed increased up to 18 in 2016 and to 20 personnel during the period 2017 to 2022.
All of the Irish personnel will be based at the mission headquarters in Bamako.
An intermediate mission strategic review is being carried out by the European External Action Service and it is anticipated that this review will be completed by April 2023. While the outcome of this review is awaited, it is likely to lead to further reductions of personnel requirements in EUTM Mali.
Note for Editors
The EUTM Mali mission is an integral part of the EU’s comprehensive approach to the situation in Mali and Africa’s Sahel region. The objective of the mission is to train and mentor the Malian Armed Forces, so as to improve their military capacity and their effectiveness in securing the country's territorial integrity.
Currently all operational and non-operational activities are temporarily suspended while maintaining the capacity to resume when certain conditions are met including a credible and agreed transition timeline and subject to further decision by the EU Political and Security Committee.
The current mandate of EUTM Mali extends until 18 May 2024. An intermediate mission strategic review is being carried out by the European External Action Service and it is anticipated that this review will be completed by April 2023.
The Mission Headquarters is located in Bamako, the capital of Mali. Sixteen EU Member States, including Ireland, are contributing troops to EUTM Mali, under the command of Brigadier General Santiago J. Fernandez Ortiz-Repiso of Spain.