20 Oct AN EXPECTED REDEPLOYMENT AND RESUMPTION OF ACTIVITIES
After COVID-19 appeared at the beginning of 2020 in the Mission Area, EUTM Mali has adopted preventive measures, in accordance with the Malian authorities and the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO). Thus, EUTM Mali temporarily suspended the majority of training activities from 3 April 2020 and significantly reduced the amount of personnel, whilst still maintaining the essential capabilities of force protection, service support, and the Command and Control structure.
Despite the temporary reduction, the personnel that remained were active in maintaining a secure deployment and in providing support (and in some cases continuing remote training) and advice to the Host Nations. During the so-called “hibernation” period, the mission worked with fifty percent of its staff. The Mission was forced to adapt its method of operation to the restrictions associated with the COVID‑19 crisis.
At the end of June 2020, there was sufficient improvement in some recovery-indicators that permitted the initiation of a redeployment of personnel. Therefore, pre-restoration phase was going to start; however, on 18 August it was put on hold after socio-political events in Mali.
Following the Coup d’Etat period, significant political progress has been made in line with the expectations and demands of ECOWAS as the regional stakeholder. A civilian led transitional Government is now in place. Therefore, the Director General of the Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC) decided on 13 October that the redeployment of personnel and resumption of the mission activities is commence with immediate effect.
After giving necessary notice to the contributing nations, the arrival of personnel will start at the beginning of November. The restoration will occur in intensive waves and allow the Mission to reach its pre-COVID staffing level, up to seven hundred, in mid-November. Early in 2021, the number of personnel, within the new fifth Mandate, will again increase, to more than a thousand.