“The primary task for our Swedish Special Forces unit is to act as a rapid response force when something happens. Other tasks involve assisting, counselling and accompanying the Malian security forces”, Brigadier General Anders Löfberg, head of the Special Forces Command, says.
Mali is a jihadist hotspot
Mali is one of the world’s poorest countries, and in recent years, criminal activities such as human trafficking, illegal trade with arms and drugs have soared, as well as kidnappings and terrorist attacks. The country has become a hotspot for violence-inciting Islamist groups, i.a. groups with links to Daesh and al-Qaida.
“The people of Mali are plagued by criminal and Islamist terrorist groups. Special Forces units are a good resource to use in the fight against the terrorist groups, as they can be swiftly deployed to various parts of the country, thus preventing conflicts from escalating and terrorism from spreading”, Brigadier General Anders Löfberg continues.
Sweden's commitment in Mali is substantial
The Swedish commitment in Mali is large; Sweden has deployed 150 troops to Task Force Takuba as well as helicopters and transport aircraft. Sweden also contributes a 215-strong troop to the UN-led operation Minusma as well as eight troops to the EU force, EUTM Mali.
Along with contributions from France, Estonia and the Czech Republic, among others, the Swedish contribution is part of the long-term commitment to promote safety and security in Mali, with the aim of obtaining a sustainable and peaceful development in the country.
The Swedish troop in Task Force Takuba comprises a helicopter-borne rapid response force, deployed in Ménaka, in north-eastern Mali. A Swedish transport aircraft is based in Niamey in Niger.