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The Danish effort in the Sahel region (MINUSMA and Operation Barkhane)

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Hercules C130J plane
Danish Hercules C-130J transport aircraft. Photo: Danish Defence.

The Danish effort in the Sahel region (MINUSMA and Operation Barkhane) 


Denmark has contributed to the UN’s mission in Mali, MINUSMA, since 2014 and has three times provided a C-130J transport aircraft for the mission (2014,2017 and 2019/2020). In 2016, Danish special operation forces were part of a Dutch Task Group in the Gao region in Mali. The primary tasks consisted of patrol activities, monitoring tasks and area analysis. In 2015-2016 a Danish major general served as force commander for MINUSMA. In addition, Denmark has provided substantial financial support to MINUSMA.

Currently, Denmark contributes with a personnel contribution of up to 10 persons placed in Gao to gather information for MINUSMA. In addition, Denmark also provides three staff officers to the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali.

Danish contribution to Operation Barkhane in the Sahel region

Since the middle of December 2019, a Danish helicopter contribution, incl. app. 70 persons, has been deployed to the French-led Operation Barkhane to support the international effort to counter terrorism in the Sahel region. The Danish helicopter contribution is placed in Gao in the eastern part of Mali where it will carry out transportation tasks, including transport of troops and equipment. It is the first time that Denmark contributes to Operation Barkhane and the deployment is planned end in December 2020.


On 24 October 2019 the Danish Parliament adopted motion B6 for a Danish military contribution in support of MINUSMA and motion B7 for a Danish military contribution in support of Operation Barkhane.

Background: MINUSMA

MINUSMA was established in 2013, authorized by the UN Security Council (Resolution 2100). The purpose of MINUSMA is to support the implementation of a ceasefire between the government of Mali and the armed groups "Platform" and "Coordination" and to protect civilians, among other things. The mission has the authority to use all necessary means (including military means) to carry out its mandate. The current authorisation is for a maximum of 13,289 soldiers and 1,920 policemen. Apart from Denmark, the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali is also supported by The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Germany, among others.

Read more about the MINUSMA mission at UN.org

Background: Operation Barkhane

France has established Operation Barkhane to counter terrorism in the Sahel-region. Currently, app. 4.500 French troops are deployed in the operation to which also Great Britain (helicopters) and Estonia (infantry unit) contributes. The area of operations covers Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauretania and Niger. In 2013, Denmark provided a transport aircraft to the French-led, Operation Serval, which was the forerunner to Operation Barkhane. Denmark has not previously contributed to Operation Barkhane.

This article in Danish
Last updated 2020-08-06 - 12:31


Mission area: Mali.