European Task Force Takuba to deploy to Sahel

Task Force Takuba is geared towards tackling terrorism and Armed bandits. As the humanitarian situation is progressively deteriorating in the Sahel, Large numbers of locals have been forced to flee their homes and to relocate due to intimidation by terrorists. Attacks from organized armed groups conducting terrorist activities have already claimed the lives of many civilians, as well as national and international troops. This situation claims a high cost in human suffering. It also shed lights on the need to uphold the respect for human rights and international humanitarian law in the region.

Thus, several European countries including Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, the Netherlands, and Portugal will deploy troops to support a new French-led special forces mission in the Sahel region called Task Force Takuba.

Task Force Takuba

Takuba, which means “sabre” in Tuareg, is expected “to have an initial operational capability (IOC) by the summer of 2020 and expected to become operational (FOC) by early 2021” says the French Ministry of Armed Forces announced after an audio conference on Friday, 27 March with defence ministers.

“The Takuba Task Force will be able, by its structure, to act quickly and adapt to the evolution of the threat posed by terrorist groups. It will play a key role in the rapid empowerment of local armed forces.”

Structurally, Taskforce Takuba will mainly consist of European special forces backed by the necessary support assets. It will be under the command of the French ongoing Operation ‘Barkhane’ regional counter-insurgency mission, but will have a high level of autonomy. It will assist and complement efforts of the G5 Sahel Joint Force that is made up of battalions from Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger.

Takuba will operate in the Liptako region, an area between Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali, a known stronghold for fighters linked to ISIL (ISIS). According to a Press statement document.

“Takuba will therefore be part of the counter-terrorism pillar of the ‘Coalition for the Sahel’, the broader coordinating framework recently announced in Pau,” it said, referring to the France-G5 Sahel summit held in the southern French city in January.

Task Force Takuba to advise and assist

It will advise, assist and accompany Malian Armed Forces, in coordination with G5 Sahel partners, the UN mission (MINUSMA) and EU missions (EUTM Mali, EUCAP Mali and EUCAP Niger).

Darek Liam

Darek Liam is the North African editor for AMB, where he writes about the intersection of Technology and national security. He has been covering defense and national security issues for more than a decade, previously as African Union correspondent.