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Second Lithuanian rotation to be deployed to the United Nations-led Operation MINUSMA in Mali


On January 26 a deployment ceremony will be held in Panevėžys for the second rotation of the Lithuanian Armed Forces Force Protection Unit sent to serve in the UN-led stability operation MINUSMA in Mali.


The second Force Protection Unit rotation includes 34 professional military service soldiers and soldiers with the 5th Territorial Unit, Vytis Military District, National Defence Volunteer Force. They will replace their colleagues from the 6th Territorial Unit, Resurrection Military District, National Defence Volunteer Force, and serve as part of the German Contingent in the area of operation. Lithuanian soldiers’ task in the operation is to ensure force security within the military base compound in Gao province, eastern part of Mali.


Apart from the Force Protection Unit and the National Support Element, 5 more Lithuanian soldiers are serving in the MINUSMA headquarters in Bamako and Timbuktu. Lithuanian servicemembers are not involved in combat actions in Operation MINUSMA.


The ceremony in Panevėžys is expected to be attended by the leadership of the Lithuanian Land Force, representatives of Panevėžys city and district authorities, soldiers’ families, and other guests. Commander of the Lithuanian Land Force Brigadier General Valdemaras Rupšys will present the state flag of Lithuania to the officer in command of the rotation and keepsakes for the troops at the ceremony.


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.


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.


MINUSMA is not the only multinational deployment for Lithuanian troops in Mali. Lithuania contributes to the European Union Training Mission in Mali (EUTM) since 2013, three Lithuanian soldiers rotated on a yearly basis to help train Malian colleagues until 2016, and two – until present.


As an active and responsible member of the international community, Lithuania supports its efforts to maintain peace and stability worldwide, 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.


POC – 1st Lt Asta Gruodienė, head of CIMIC division, 5th Territorial Unit, Vytis Military District, National Defence Volunteer Force, +370 680 62056, [email protected]


Archival photo of the Lithuanian Armed Forces

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