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New Senior Liaison Officer Starts Service in Mali

Szöveg: Gy. A. |  2017. április 16. 6:00

The senior liaison officer for the international military missions EUTM Mali and UN MINUSMA has started his tour of duty in Mali.

To halt the advance of Islamist militias assisting the Tuareg rebellion in the northern part of Mali, acting at the request of the president of the country, France launched a military operation on 11 January 2013. The objectives of the operation were to defend the statehood, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country, and to prevent Mali from becoming an area of interest for international terrorist groups. The UN Security Council unanimously endorsed the intervention.


According to a government decision published in the 7 March 2013 issue of Magyar Közlöny (Hungarian Courier), “in the interest of fulfilling Hungary’s obligations stemming from its membership in the European Union, as a Hungarian contribution to strengthening the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union, based on a decision made by the Council of the European Union, the government" authorized the participation of Hungarian troops in the European Union Training Mission Mali (EUTM Mali).

The EUTM Mali operation complements the international military mission UN MINUSMA operating since July 2013 in Mali, the largest state in the region of Western Africa. The Hungarian senior liaison officer is tasked with promoting harmonization of the two missions.

Lt.-Col. Győző Atkári, Deputy Chief Training at the HDF Joint Force Command, arrived in the area of operations in early April. He was received by Lt.-Col. Róbert Lukács at Bamako International Airport. Lt.-Col. Lukács has served for seven months in the capital of Mali, and he shared with his successor not only the information and technical equipment necessary for the mission, but also the experiences gained so far, and transferred his network of relations to him.

During the handover-takeover process, it was travelling by car that presented the greatest challenge in Bamako, a city with a population of almost 2 million. The UN mission operates a number of facilities, so Lt.-Col. Atkári had to manage travelling between the bases, although the traffic habits in Africa are different from those in Europe.

During the transfer, Lt.-Col. Atkári was also introduced to the work done by Hungarian NCOs serving at Koulikoro Training Centre, which operates in the subordination of the EUTM.

For his outstanding performance in EUTM Mali, Lt.-Col. Róbert Lukács received a token of appreciation from the commander of the mission.

Photos by the author