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Bamako, February 24-28, 2021 – The top military official of the European Union, French Vice-Admiral Hervé Bléjean, arrived in Bamako, the capital of Mali. A high-level trip of the Director General of the European Union Military Staff that was very welcomed by the Mission Force Commander of the European Training Mission Mali, Brigade General GRACIA, Spanish Army.

Vice-Admiral Hervé Bléjean, both on his personal behalf and in the name of all member states of the European Union, entrusted full confidence in the training mission and its accomplishments.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. This proverb applies also to a wide range of different circumstances where engagement needs to be conducted for the completion of a task. Hence, his busy schedule included many and varied activities. The Vice-Admiral conducted office calls, had meets and greets with many authorities of both the Malian Army and Ministry of Defense, the European Delegation, National Capacities, G5 Sahel Joint Force, EUCAP, the Embassy of France to Mali and MINUSMA.

Bamako, February 24, 2021 – After an office call with the Chief of the Army Staff, Brigade General Oumar Diarra, he was hosted by the Minister of Defence and Veterans Affairs, Colonel Sadio Camara. The Vice-Admiral Bléjean emphasized the consolidation of the partnership with the Malian Armed Forces.

Banankoro Non-Commissioned Officers (NCO) School /Koulikoro Training Camp (KTC), February 26, 2021 – EUTM Mali makes the days count. The mission of EUTM Mali is to deliver advocacy, training and mentorship in profit of the Malian Armed Forces, thus contributing to the stability and development of the wider Sahel region. The different courses and activities are delivered and led by specialized teams composed mainly of members of the Education and Training Task Force (ETTF) and Advisory Task Force (ATF). The range of activities is wide and of varied duration depending on the objectives to be achieved: from intensive one-week activities to the monitoring of multiannual plans at strategic level.

The activities are either carried out centrally at KTC, the main base of ETTF, or directly at the bases, schools or institutions of the Malian army. Regarding the Malian NCO School, renovation and new-build of the NCO School, may become an EUTM project later on.

Thus, Vice-Admiral Hervé Bléjean took the opportunity to walkthrough the Banankoro NCO School, where he participated in a graduation ceremony. In his speech, he emphasized that the NCO corps is the backbone of every Army. 

At the Koulikoro Training Camp, he had a meet and greet with the EUTM troops.

Gao, Sevare, February 27, 2021 – A day full of flights. In Gao, the Vice-Admiral Hervé Bléjean met the First Military Region Commander, Colonel Coulibaly. Afterwards, he was all ears to the EUTM Mali Training Teams who were providing Armored Vehicle Platoon training to the Malian Armed Forces.
At the airport of Sevare, an officer of the German National Support Element unveiled to the Vice-Admiral the project for a new EUTM Camp in Sevare. Finally, he met the Sixth Military Region Commander, Colonel Yssouf O Traoré, prior to departing to Bamako.

Bamako, February 28, 2021 – The Director of the EUMS  visited again the MFHQ EUTM Mali to debrief the EUTM Mali Mission Force Commander Brigade General GRACIA, Spanish Army. Last but not least, a visit to MINUSMA was on the program. Ties between the two missions have been strengthened.

The EU supports the efforts of Mali and of all G5 Sahel countries for peace, security and development in the country and the region. Success is achievable and demands commitments and resolve. Forever is composed of nows; thus EUTM Mali makes the days count! Admiral, many thanks for your inspiring visit.