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  • El general Millán asume el mando de la misión en Malí en presencia de la ministra de Defensa

Latest News

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Number: 6462

General Millán assumes the command in Mali under the presence of the Minister of Defense


Change of the EUTM-Mali mission's commandChange of the EUTM-Mali mission's command (Photo:MINISDEF)

The Minister of Defense accompanied the general in the ceremony

The Minister of Defense accompanied the general in the ceremony (Photo:MINISDEF)

The Minister visited the training field

The Minister visited the training field (Photo:MINISDEF)

General Enrique Millán Martínez has received, by the French general Daniel Grammatico's hands, Chief of General Staff of the mission's Military Planning, the command of the EU's mission in Mali (EUTM-Mali), under the presence of the Spanish Minister of Defense, María Dolores de Cospedal, at the base of the Multinational Staff in Bamako, the 31st of January.

During the ceremony of transfer of authority, the representative of Defense, accompanied by her counterparts from Belgium and Mali, together with other civil and military authorities from the area, imposed the Cross of Military Merit to the Belgian general Laurant due to the labour the he performed when commanding the European Union's mission.

The minister of Defense pointed out that the Spanish people "are here in order to help Mali, under the EU's umbrella, the protection of a resolution of the United Nations and, as a request of its Govern, which in 2012 asked the international community to help it, taking back its integrity in order to fight against the terrorism that threatens with taking this country, and in order to live in peace". Furthermore, Cospedal added that those threats "take place all over the world, and to defend the security of the Spanish families, to defend our frame of coexistence, it is necessary to go where the conflict started."

Spain, who takes part in this mission since April 2013, has gone over the 50 soldiers initially provided, contributing with 292 deployed soldiers in the next dates in order to guarantee the associated capacities to the commitments of the operation's command, the force of protection and the decentralized training. Our country had held the command of the "EUTM-Mali" mission in betwen october of 2014 and July of 2015, being headed by General Alfonso García-Vaquero Pradal.

The stationed Spanish contingent in Mali is distributed between Bamako -where it is placed the Staff of the mission- and Koulikoro, where it is found the personnel dedicated to the military training of the Malian soldiers and to the protection of the force, although the advicing and training activities have been extended to other areas of Mali.

During 2017, 451 Spanish soldiers participated, most of them from the Spanish Army. They trained 2.100 Malian soldiers from the instructed 11.500 along the whole misión.

The Minister visits the troops

Before the ceremony, the Minister of Defense went by helicopter to the training field of Koulikoro, at 60 km in the northwestern of Bamako, where she was welcome by the chief of the Spanish contingent, colonel Ignacio of Olazábal Elroz. The Minister could see the task that it is conducted by a team of mortars supporting the Malian Armed Forces. Afterwards, being part of the civic-military projects carried out by the Spanish Armed Forces in the region, the Spanish minister came into contact with the activities, which in this frame, are conducted at the public school "Fraternidad-Reino de España", in Bakaribugu.

The "EUTM-Mali" mission is not executive; the soldiers who form it have as main functions to provide information, to advice and to train the Armed Forces of Mali. The mandate of the European Union finishes the 18 of May of 2018 and it is still in process of being planned the expansion of another one which will be extended until 2020. Furthermore, from the current commitments, it is foreseed the contemplation of the "G5-Sahel" support, a Joint Force formed by soldiers from Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania, Mali and Niger. Currently, "EUTM-Mali" is formed by 581 soldiers from 28 countries.