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The participation of the Finnish Defence Forces in the EU training mission in Mali has ended

Defence Forces
Publication date 20.5.2024 14.13
Press release
Maavoimien operaatiopäällikkö vastaanottamassa kielekkeistä valtiolippua.
Kielekkeisen valtiolipun vastaanotti Maavoimien operaatiopäällikkö, prikaatikenraali Sami-Antti Takamaa.

The participation of the Finnish Defence Forces in the European Union Training Mission in Mali (EUTM-M) has ended on 18 May by decision of the EU. The Finnish peacekeepers returned home on Sunday 19 May 2024.

At the end of the mission its strength was approximately 150 soldiers, four of whom were Finns. All Finns served as staff officers in Bamako, the capital of Mali. The troops who returned from Mali to Finland and the swallow-tailed state flag used in the operation were received by Chief of Army Operations, Brigadier General Sami-Antti Takamaa. The flag will later be presented to the War Museum.

– The Finns worked with dedication and professionalism in the EUTM Mali. Our expertise was also appreciated internationally, said Brigadier General Takamaa, thanking the returning peacekeepers.

The objective of the EUTM Mali was to strengthen the capabilities of the Malian Armed Forces through training to enable them to ensure the territorial integrity of the country, and to bring the whole of northern Mali under better government control. In addition to basic training, the mission has provided guidance and training at staff level on leadership, logistics, personnel management, human rights and international law. In total, the EUTM Mali trained over 20,000 Malian soldiers.

– The operation has had a major impact in supporting the development of the capabilities of the Malian armed forces during our more than ten years of involvement, with over 20,000 Malian soldiers trained in total. In addition, we all gain valuable experience from working in an international headquarters, says Brigadier General Takamaa.

A total of 130 Finnish soldiers served in the EUTM Mali since 2013. In the operation, the Finns served as instructors, with particular expertise in infantry, military engineering, and medical training. Alongside instructors, Finland also had staff officers and a national support element serve in the operation.

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