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National Defence Volunteer Force soldiers deployed to the mission in Mali


On September 24 the sixth rotation of Lithuanian soldiers were deployed to the United Nations Operation MINUSMA in Mali at a ceremony at the Palace of the Grand Dukes of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in Vilnius. The Force Protection Unit (FPU-6) formed by career and volunteer soldiers of the 8th Territorial Unit of Didžioji Kova Military District of the National Defence Volunteer Force will carry out force protection tasks in composition of the German Contingent in the operation for six months.

The group of 32 soldiers will replace the outgoing Lithuanian rotation formed by the 2nd Territorial Unit of the of Darius ir Girėnas Military District of the National Defence Volunteer Force in the area of operation.

The deployment ceremony was attended by Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis, Commander of the National Defence Volunteer Force Col Dainius Pašvenskas, representatives of the deploying and other units of the Lithuanian Armed Forces and of internal security services, and relatives of the deployed soldiers.

The United Nations launched the Multinational Integrated Stabilization Mission, MINUSMA, in the Republic of Mali in 2013. IT currently includes roughly 13 thousand military personnel. On 19 October 19 the first Lithuanian Force Protection Unit formed by the 6th Territorial Unit of the Resurrection Military District of the National Defence Volunteer Force was deployed to the mission. Lithuanian troops are ensuring protection of Camp Castor in the eastern part of Mali, province of Gao, in composition of the German Contingent. Lithuanians are not engaged in combat actions in Operation MINUSMA.

MINUSMA is aimed at stabilising the country, protecting civilian population, promoting and protecting human rights, and ensuring justice at national and international levels. Lithuania's participation in the mission contributes to the international efforts to support the peace process in Mali. The Force Protection Unit has been formed in accordance with the mandate of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania.

Photo credits: Pte 1st Class Michail Lysenko

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