October 10, 2017
Ministry of National Defence of Lithuania
As Lithuania steps up contribution to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), a Lithuanian Land Force unit of 34 soldiers began service in the operation on October 19. They will serve as part of the German Contingent for four months providing force protection in the military base in the Gao Region, eastern Mali.
The first rotation of the Force Protection Unit to take part in MINUSMA is formed on the basis of career soldiers and volunteers from the 6th Territorial Unit, Resurrection Military District, National Defence Volunteer Force.
Apart from the new rotation, currently there are 5 Lithuanian soldiers serving at the MINUSMA operational headquarters control centre in Bamako, in GAO, and in Timbuktu, the UN-controlled sector east. Neither they nor the newly deployed Lithuanian soldiers are taking part in combat actions in Operation MINUSMA.
The UN launched the Multinational Integrated Stabilization Mission MINUSMA in Mali in 2013. MINUSMA is designed to stabilise the situation in the country, to support the implementation of the transition action plan, to protect civilian population, to promote and protect human rights, arrange humanitarian assistance, preservation of cultural heritage, and help ensure justice and national and international levels.
MINUSMA is not the first multinational deployment for Lithuanian troops in Mali. Lithuania contributes to the European Union Training Mission in Mali (EUTM), from 2013 three Lithuanian soldiers rotated on a yearly basis to help train Malian colleagues, the number was cut to two in 2016 until now.
As an active and responsible member of the international community, Lithuania supports its efforts to maintain peace in the world, to solve protracted conflicts, and to fight international terrorism. In their turn, Lithuanian troops gain experience of operational planning and conduct, CIMIC activities, and cooperation with allies under different circumstances which is beneficial for preparedness for national defence.
Lithuanian’s troop contribution to MINUSMA is an input into international efforts to stabilise the situation in Mali, to support the implementation of the transitional period action plan, to protect civilian population, to promote and ensure human rights, to contribute to rendering of humanitarian assistance, to help preserve national cultural heritage, and ensure justice at national and international levels.