2020.04.02 14:34

Lithuanian troops leave for Mali after coronavirus tests

BNS 2020.04.02 14:34

Thirty-three Lithuanian troops left for the UN-led operation MINUSMA in Mali, the National Defence Volunteer Force (KASP) said on Thursday. Before departure, they underwent mandatory checks for the coronavirus.

The troops include professional servicemen and volunteers from KASP. They will replace the previous rotation that have been serving in Mali since October 2019.

Read more: Lithuania deploys troops to airports, seaport amid coronavirus concerns

Before their departure, the soldiers spent 14 days in self-isolation and also underwent tests for the coronavirus. All tests came back negative, the force said.

The Lithuanian troops in Mali operate in the country's eastern province of Gao in cooperation with the German force. The main mission of the Lithuanian troops is to protect the military camp.

UN's MINUSMA was launched in July 2013. Five members of the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) were injured alongside French and Malian troops in July 2019 when suicide bomber attacked the UN camp in Gao, where the German and Lithuanian troops are also present.