The Estonian Ministry of Defense and the Defense Forces are sending nearly 2000 MRE's to Mali, to increase the food supplies of the EU training mission EUTM Mali, as a precaution against the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Even during the emergency situation, we must not forget that the second pillar of Estonia's security, alongside its independent defence capability, is collective defence – just as our allies are helping to ensure Estonia's security during the crisis, we will continue to contribute to international security," Estonia's Minister of Defence Jüri Luik said.
Luik noted that Estonia is providing assistance to all EU member states at the request of Lieutenant General Esa Pulkkinen, Director General of the European Union Military Staff, who is leading the EU's three military training missions in Mali, the Central African Republic and Somalia.
"We will continue to show solidarity with our allies," Luik stressed.
According to EDF's commander, Maj. Gen. Martin Herem, the supplies will also help Estonian troops and the 22 other EU member states as well as five partner countries involved in the EUTM Mali training mission.
"Although there are currently no major problems involved in the logistical support of troops from Estonia or our allies in Africa, increasing the available food supplies on the ground is undoubtedly the right step in light of rapidly changing circumstances. In this way, we can be sure that we will be able to meet the basic needs of our troops, should the situation in Africa deteriorate and supply chains slow down," Major General Herem added.
Estonia's shipment contains 1920 food rations, with the total cost of €45,000.
Estonia is contributing staff officers and training instructors to the European Union mission in Mali.
Estonia's contribution to the EUTM Mali mission enables it to participate in the implementation of the European Union's common security and defence policy and to contribute to the long-term stabilization of the Sahel region. The goal of EUTM Mali is to restore the military capability of the Malian armed forces, enabling them to organise and conduct military operations, restore Mali's territorial integrity and reduce the threat posed by terrorist groups.
Estonia is also contributing to two additional missions in Mali. An infantry platoon-sized unit is participating in Operation Barkhane, the French-led anti-insurgent operation, supporting the fight by five countries in the Sahel region against Islamic extremists and thereby contributing to the prevention of illegal immigration and human trafficking in the direction of Europe.
In addition, Estonia is contributing two staff officers and an observation and consultation team to the UN peacekeeping mission MINUSMA.
Editor: Anders Nõmm