British troops have returned from a month-long operation conducting “deep reconnaissance and deterring terrorist groups” in Mali.
The British Army say here that the Long Range Recce Group (LRRG) deployed on Operation SEKA, from their base in Gao, with orders to recce the area of operations, to protect the local population and deter hostile activity.
“During the deployment, the group covered more than 1500km and visited more than 60 villages to conduct local engagement.
As part of the UK’s commitment to the UN operation in Mali (MINUSMA) troops from the Light Dragoons and 2 Royal Anglian deployed on Op SEKA, a security operation to provide enhanced and enduring security along the main supply route from GAO to Ansongo and the surrounding areas.
Op SEKA worked with partner contributing troops and civilians from other UN nations – including Mali – to enable a persistent presence which deterred violent activity and ensured freedom of movement for friendly forces, and protection for local communities. This has enabled the LRRG(M) – as part of the wider mission – to prevent, anticipate and rapidly react to threats against civilians and increase security in the region.”
Lieutenant Colonel Tom Robinson, Commanding Officer of the Light Dragoons, was quoted as saying:
“Op SEKA was our first opportunity to make a real contribution to the UN mission. We did this by focussing our efforts on understanding what the challenging security situation meant to the local population and how best we, our UN partner forces and the civilian mission together could help address them. After a month long patrol, covering 1500km in 40 degree heat, our hard work paid off with a significant reduction in violence against the locals and prevented the terrorist groups from moving and acting with impunity.”