France: Europe is deploying its forces in Mali to deter terrorist groups

French Defense Minister Florence Parly announced that a joint European Union special forces will be deployed in Mali on Wednesday, to support them in their battle against jihadist groups.

Florence Parly said to the electronic version of the newspaper "La Croix" that the first group of forces will include about one hundred French and Estonian soldiers, while a second battalion of about 60 Czech soldiers will be deployed in October, and they will be joined by about 150 Swedish soldiers in January 2021.

She added that "Italy has just expressed its desire to join us" as well.

United Nations statistics indicate that jihad and ethnic violence in Mali and Niger Burkina Faso killed at least 4,000 people in 2019.

The entire Sahel region is witnessing increased attacks by extremist groups, despite the strengthening of the national armies in the region and the deployment of approximately 5,100 French anti-terrorist forces.

She said that while jihadists have become more vulnerable, they are increasingly resorting to recruit of minors.

"Despite all the precautions taken, some child soldiers may be injured or killed in combat," she warned.



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