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Lithuania steps up contribution to international security and stability – 34 Lithuanian soldiers deployed to the operation in Mali

2017.09.27
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Lithuania increases its involvement in the United Nations-led Multinational Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSMA) in Mali – a 34-strong Lithuanian Land Force unit is deployed as of October. The Lithuanian unit will carry out force protection tasks in composition of the German Contingent for four months.

 

The first rotation of the Force Protection Unit in MINUSMA is formed on the basis of career soldiers and volunteers from the 6th Territorial Unit, Resurrection Military District, National Defence Volunteer Force.

 

“We are deploying prepared and determined to fulfilled the tasks entrusted to us – we have dedicated all the pre-mission training time to becoming staunch physically and mentally. Our unit is formed by seasoned troops, therefore we understand the risks to health and life, challenges of unusual climate, and separation from families, as we are leaving,” Commander of the Force Protection Unit Captain Gytis Jazdauskas says.

 

Currently there are 5 Lithuanian soldiers serving at the MINUSMA operational headquarters control centre in Bamako and in Timbuktu, the UN-controlled sector east. Neither they nor the newly deploying Lithuanian soldiers are taking part in combat actions in Operation MINUSMA.

 

The deployment ceremony in Šiauliai will be attended by leadership of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, Land Force, National Defence Volunteer Force, town of Šiauliai, families of the soldiers , other guests.

At the ceremony decorations will be presented to the National Defence Volunteer Force who have returned from the training mission in Ukraine this week.

 

Deployment ceremony programme (Sept 29)

 

1330 - 1420hrs Holly mass at Šiauliai Cathedral of the Apostles Saints Peter and Paul;

1440 - 1510hrs Parade in Resurrection Square of Šiauliai town.

 

Lithuanian contribution to MINUSMA

 

The Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania mandated deployment of up to 40 soldiers to MINUSMA in 2016-2017. As of October 2017, 39 Lithuanian troops will be serving in the UN-led Multinational Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali.

 

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.

 

POC – NDVF PR officer Captain Paulius Babilas, 0037061840469, e-mail address [email protected]

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