17 Mar EUTM Mali and the Bamako Airport Authorities sign a Technical Agreement.
Bamako, March 17, 2021 – EUTM Mali and the Bamako Airport Authorities sign a Technical Agreement, beneficial for the European Training Mission’s extension and the Malian people.
During a signing ceremony, Brigade General GRACIA, ESP Army, Commander of the European Training Mission in Mali, placed his signature on a Technical Agreement with the Malian authorities of the Bamako Airport. This agreement will be beneficial for the future European Training Mission as it is expanding and extending, thus responding to the increasing training demands of the G5 Sahel. This agreement will stimulate Malian employment in the Bamako area.
Expansion – The Technical Agreement envisages the transfer of a public terrain next to the airfield on which a Helicopter Base will be built in a first stage, and secondly a large military base which will accommodate the EUTM Mali Force. An increase in EUTM manpower up to 1000 personnel is already foreseen by mid of this year.
Extension – An Intra-Theatre Air Transportation capability was requested to the EU and its Member States to give the Mission Force Commander enough flexibility to move his military advisers and trainers wherever required by the demanding G5 Sahel authorities in a bigger area of operations. This request was the consequence of a new Mandate 5, which was issued in April 2020. The EU Political and Security Committee approved to extend EUTM Mali to the G5 Sahel countries.
Beyond the borders of Mali into the G5 Sahel with focus on Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso – Although, the security situation is particularly severe in the Centre and the North of Mali, the situation in Burkina Faso also deteriorated very rapidly. Furthermore, Niger has difficulties to keep control of its porous borders, while Mauritania and Chad have almost remained untouched by the terrorist threat.
Increase of training demands at remote locations – Delivery of military advocacy, training and education in all G5 Sahel countries would not be feasible without air means. The increase in decentralized training activities and the definitive extension into Niger and Burkina Faso can solely be achieved with the mounting of a new Base.
Cooperation with Malian authorities – The development of the agreement and the refinement process of the document has taken several months. Close coordination with Malian authorities took place and all discussions occurred in a transparent way and in an atmosphere of full confidence. This agreement is demonstrating the close cooperation between EUTM-Mali, the Malian authorities and is in the benefit of the Malian people.
In the benefit of the Malian people – Almost all construction projects and services will be outsourced to support the military. Main infrastructure will be constructed, not only inside the airport but also in the surroundings: taxiways, landing zones, roads, etc. The construction project offers great potential to the Malian people in terms of employment and commerce in the Bamako region.
Delivering the advocacy, training and education to remote locations will be a strategic objective of EUTM Mali. The signed agreement represents a giant step forward in achieving EUTM’s objectives as laid down in Mandate 5. EUTM Mali contributes to the stability and development of the Wider Sahel Region. The Technical Agreement, another masterpiece made during each day that counts.