Czech Republic to send troops to Africa anti-terror mission
London, Jan 27, 2020 (AltAfrica)-The Czech Republic government on Monday approved a Defense Ministry plan to deploy up to 60 troops as part of France’s anti-terror mission in Africa.
The service members will join Operation Barkhane, France’s largest overseas military mission.
It has been working to root out Islamic militants roaming the Sahel region. The government said Mali, Niger and Chad approved the Czech deployment. The Czechs will help local troops fight Islamic militants.
The plan to deploy Czech forces in the mission until the end of 2022 still needs parliamentary approval.
The Czechs already have some 120 troops in Mali as a part of an European Union training mission.
The Czech offer comes as Nineteen soldiers were killed and five wounded in an attack on an army camp in central Mali before dawn on Sunday, an army spokesman and a local official told Reuters.
The identity of the attackers was not immediately clear. They entered the camp near the village of Sokolo at about 0500 GMT, opened fire, destroyed some structures and left soon after, said Balco Ba, a deputy administrator in the nearby town of Niono.
Army spokesman Dirran Kone said the camp was later under control, reinforcements were in place and a search was underway for the assailants. The Malian army’s official Twitter account said a Malian plane had been deployed to monitor the scene.