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16 Mar, 2020 12:24

Sweden’s govt to send up to 150 troops to join French-led special forces in Mali

Sweden’s govt to send up to 150 troops to join French-led special forces in Mali

The government in Stockholm said on Monday it had decided to send troops to Mali to join French-led special forces that are fighting militants linked to Al-Qaeda and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) in the Sahel region of North Africa.

The Social Democrat and Green coalition said that Sweden would contribute a rapid reaction force of up to 150 troops and helicopters as part of international efforts to boost security in the region, Reuters reports. Parliament has to approve the government’s decision.

Sweden has had a small number of troops in Mali since 2013 as part of the UN’s Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission.

France, a former colonial power, has 5,100 troops in Mali and the wider Sahel. However, security has been progressively worsening since it intervened in 2013 to stop a jihadist advance towards the Malian capital Bamako.