Up to 60 Czech soldiers could be deployed in Mali, Niger and Chad to serve in counter-terrorist roles, the Ministry of Defence proposes, according to an unpublished report cited by the Czech News Agency on Monday. The proposal follows the offer by France to partake in the anti-insurgent Operation Barkhane in Africa’s Sahel region, which has been running since 2014. However, the proposal first has to be approved by the government and Parliament. If confirmed, the soldiers would be active in the region until 2022.
The Czech Republic currently has 120 members of the armed services in Mali and will take over the EU’s local training mission EUTM Mali later this year. Overall, there are some 600 Czech soldiers currently active in 20 foreign states, according to an earlier statement by Defence Minister Lubomír Metnar (ANO).
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