The Defence Secretary has announced that the UK will deploy 250 troops to Mali in 2020 to support the UN Peacekeeping Operation in the African country.

In what it says is a recognition of the increasing instability in the Sahel region, the UK Government say it has authorised a large-scale British peacekeeping deployment to Eastern Mali. Based in Gao, 250 personnel will deploy in response to a UN requirement and will address a key capability gap for the UN Mission.

“Initially deploying for three years as part of a 12,500 strong international force, the UK contribution will assist the UN mission as it seeks to deliver long-term and sustainable peace in Mali. UK personnel will operate alongside troops from more than 30 countries, and will deliver a long-range reconnaissance capability, providing greater awareness of possible threats and contributing to the protection of civilians.

By working to stabilise fragile states and tackling the root causes of conflict, the UK is preventing conflict spilling over to neighbouring states. This deployment will help address the increasing instability in the region, its impact along the West African coast and the threat to Southern Europe.”

Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt said:

“In one of the world’s poorest and most fragile regions it is right that we support some of world’s most vulnerable people and prioritise our humanitarian and security efforts in the Sahel.

UK service personnel will work with our partners in the region to help promote peace by combating the threat of violent extremism and protecting human rights in Mali.”

This deployment will be complemented by UK staff officers in the UN mission headquarters and new training programmes with troops from other partnering nations who will be deploying to the UN operation.

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Mr Bell

Dangerous mission for those elite units deployed. Either Special forces, rangers or pathfinder units. The French have been in Mali for years, fighting and losing. Usual process, lack of a winning strategy or political will, lack of a credible military force, lack of troop numbers, lack of equipment especially heavy lift aircraft and helicopters. Neighbouring countries have a highly porous border and vast stretches of Mali are not patrolled or even have governmental or police presence. It is a failed state, no coincidence it is also one of the worlds poorest. The French and Germans have been in the country… Read more »

Steve Martin

Apparently it’s not SF or Paras/Marines but light reconnaissance units with the tasking being rotated, meaning plenty of units will get a stab at it.


will deliver a long-range reconnaissance capability, providing greater awareness of possible threats — we didn’t do so well in the Gulf!!


Steve wrote;
“Apparently it’s not SF or Paras/Marines but light reconnaissance units with the tasking being rotated, meaning plenty of units will get a stab at it.

I wonder if it is the Special Reconnaissance Regiment crowd who will be going off on a jolly. seen a lot of adverts (In house) and actual visits by them for people to join them

Daniele Mandelli

Or the 3 orphaned Regiments of the RAC on Jackal.


That’s right, it’s the fault of the EU/our neighbours/anyone from Calais onwards. Same old scratched record….has it got a Vera Lynn song on the B side?

Alex Tate

No, it has the Horst Wessel-Lied on the B side.


Nice rant. But it is actually an EU fleet that will be helping the UK with Iran, Mike Pompeo said not a US problem.
Let’s not let the facts get in the way, just like Boris and his herring story, which was nothing more than a lie and nothing to do with the EU or its regulations.
So let’s just blame the EU for all that is wrong. It may gets naive people fired up, but it will not solve their real problems


why do you say the French are failing? The reports I read suggested they were doing rather well. I may be wrong since the success of the mission doesn’t get a lot of news




Yeah I thought that also, but I also thought we should send some RM or paras to help the French, but I said “ to show the French how it’s done” then I was told politely multiple times on here they seem to be doing fine, we shouldn’t send troops ect ect


Frances problem is the same we had with the Falklands, too proud to ask for help. it’s questionable after irag/afgan that the west would be willing to contribute ground troops, but from what I understand they have not asked for it.


The Germans have been useless, in Afghanistan, and in the Sahel. Don’t leave the perimeter, don’t respond when mortared or rocketed, get sent there and get fat doing as little as possible. The Heer, Marine & Luftwaffe are skeletons of what pre-1990 West Germany fielded. Germany is so decadent, so weak and not at all worthy of being the top economy in Europe. That tells you how f****d Europe is.


Now that Bojo is PM…how will he deal with the Iran situation? He might pen a limerick with the first line:
‘There was a young man from Bandar Abbas’
Completed limericks to be posted to Bojo c/o No 10 (for the next couple of weeks anyway)


H wrote: “Now that Bojo is PM…how will he deal with the Iran situation? “ The entire Iranian plan of action is aimed at the Wests media in which to put pressure on Governments. In the Uk case centring on the new PM , who faced with media pressure over : 1) Hijacking a Oil Tanker days before the selection of a new PM 2) The news yesterday of how Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is currently ‘chained to her bed’ in an Iranian psychiatric ward. Will most likely seek to defuse the situation by giving in to Tehran demands, knowing full well… Read more »


Well, he does owe Mrs Zaghari something….after his silly gaff when FS!


Could we see a deal where Grace 1 is sent on its way in return for the British Tanker and Mrs Zaghiri? The latter would give Bojo a stack of Brownie points just when he needs them!

Steve Martin

He’s got to at least try for that right? I’d be prepared for just Mrs Zaghiri and compensate the tankers owners ourselves maybe?


Success at that would give Bojo the right story at the right time!


I thought I’d read somewhere that the UK owes Iran £20 million for military gear cancelled in the past & that was the reason Nazanin was being held hostage? £20m seems cheap for her return but now it’s got out of hand & we don’t have the resources to take on Iran in her back yard with all the weaponry they have & we can only dream of. Hopefully if push comes to shove(I pray it never does) the US will be involved with a carrier battlegroup on hand, but Iran could rain destuction on its Gulf neighbours far easier… Read more »

Steve Martin

I think it’s £300m for the chieftains in the 70’s? The issue in paying them now would be violating sanctions?


Thanks Steve. Iran appears to be digging a hole for itself, but we’ve not been weaker since the Medway debacle in the C17th.


Yeah Iran’s had many years to prepare for a war in the region, I’m sure they have many plans for the straights and who’s in them.


Think it is money paid for challenger 1 tanks and tracked rapier. Perhaps the Americans should leaflet drop the bank statements of Iran’s leaders frozen bank accounts. It would show how much they have ripped off their country?

John Hampson

Why deploy British troops to buttress French neo-colonial interests in the Sahel, when French support for the UK after we acted to provide credibility to the EU’s Syrian sanctions has been a deafening silence? If France refuses to buy Chinooks because they are American that’s their choice.


That hasn’t stopped them buying KC130 tankers, and I believe that they are looking at buying Chinooks. Too much playing to the gallery on this website….as George pointed out, it is not a forum for the extreme right of the Conservative Party! Both France and Germany have condemned the Iranian seizure of the British tanker!

John Hampson

Herodotus. Forget the patronising comments let’s actually consider the realty of the French and EU levels of security co-operation. In Nov 2018, the Minister for Defence Procurement informed Parliament’s Defence and European Scrutiny Committee that the UK military was to be denied access to the EU’s Galileo GPS system. This has cost 11 billion euro, of which the UK paid 1.15 billon. There was to be no repayment of the UK’s investment. The minister confirmed the British military would be blocked from accessing the encrypted navigation signals. This was largely after concerns were expressed by Macron to Juncker and Barnier… Read more »


Oh I see, it is patronising to point out that all your assertions were lies, and provide the proof of it. You were wrong…grab your gonads in your hand and admit it! Can I remind you that it is Britain that is turning its back on Europe, supported by people like you. Is it too difficult for you to understand that the Europeans might consider this to be a breach of faith. How astonishingly arrogant to assume that you can reap all the rewards of membership of a club whilst having resigned from it. It is ‘tit headed’ ‘one eyed’… Read more »

John Hampson

“Hero” Typical of a Remoaner. When presented with a reasoned argument, that it appears from your evasion, you cannot refute you resort to the level of the playground. I would have expected a more intellectual response from somebody that adopts the name of a Greek scholar. It may be apt the Herodotus has been branded “The Farther of Lies” and was ridiculed by his contempories.


When Blair gave up a large amount of the rebate for reform of the agricultural policy it never happened. Was this a lie or payment for the president job?


To be fair, it is not quite that simple; the system (particularly in this case the military grade bit) was originally built to be for EU members’ exclusive use. 3rd parties can secure agreements to use it, but no non-EU countries are allowed to provide materials or otherwise contribute to that secure part of the system. We can’t expect to maintain full access to it, and rights to continue to develop tech for it, when we leave; that would be like the EU expecting us to continue to allow freedom of movement after Brexit. It was the UK’s decision alone… Read more »


Oh, and here is an article about the French Chinook interest. It is from flight global….I have been reading the magazine for 50 years!


From the latest reports the French finally seem ready to purchase a hvy lift helo in the CH-47F. About damn time!


I think that that many in French military would agree with you! The French have always favoured a European solution…keep the money in Europe. Why not…half the arguments on this site are about favouring British shipyards etc. They have sourced their helicopter requirements from European sources but a deal on a heavy lift platform has not materialised…though many have been promoted. A Franco-German solution seams like a good idea…though, I think the Chinook is the most obvious aircraft!


You won’t find me agreeing with Herodotus much on here but to be fair to the French they have been extremely busy committing their people to fighting these brainwashed nutters, in a number of operational theatres, for the last few years. We have a closer working relationship with the French military, than we have with most of our NATO allies. And if we ignore Macron and the other politicians who waffle chuff, the French head sheds sing off the same song sheet as we do. Worked with them many times, top lads!


Should be African countries should be supplying the troops?


Sorry, definitely OT but heartwarming…

They don’t make them like that anymore…



Can’t believe this, very much under the wire if true, no discussion in parliament about it either.Have we learned nothing, getting involved on the ground in Muslim countries always ends badly.

Ian Skinner

we are joing the UN mission, not supporting the French mission which is a direct combat mission against ISIS in the Sahel or whatever they are calling themselves this week- the UN mission is traditional peace keeping.


“will deliver a long-range reconnaissance capability, providing greater awareness of possible threats and contributing to the protection of civilians.” We didn’t do very well in the Gulf!!!


I notice Mali is 90% muslim so here we go again just another excuse for them to blow up our children at pop concerts,stay out let the damned French deal with it.

Geoffrey Roach

One small point… Mali peacekeeping, the U N, overseas aid? Whose budget is this coming out of?


Two words Mission Creep , originally it was heavy lift helicopters now it is 250 troops, then it will be 500 and so it goes on

David Barry

True, but then thrusting young officers not to mention the odd Brig will start getting medals 😉 Cynic, moi?