Following an attack in the Menaka region in Mali, near the Niger border, on March 10, Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) were called upon to conduct evacuations of French soldiers injured during the attack.
The French soldiers were in the region conduction Operation BARKHANE, a French-led counter-terror operation across the Sahel region of Africa. The soldiers were in the area tracking down militants along the Mali-Niger border.
The evacuation is the first time CAF members have been asked to step in to assist non-UN forces in the region.
“Their provision of advanced critical care helped save the lives of members from an allied nation conducting operations in close proximity to them in Gao, and is justified under technical arrangements between Canada, France, and the UN.
“As the CAF is conducting peace operations in Mali, TF-Mali first took action to ensure they could maintain their aeromedical evacuation coverage for the UN before agreeing to Operation BARKHANE’s request for support,” ” said Capt. Christopher Daniel, a spokesperson for the CAF.
The advanced critical care provided by the CAF members proved to be life-saving.
CAF members have been deployed to Mali since July on a year-long mission in support of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali. The deployment consists of 250 CAF personnel, CH-147 Chinook and CH-146 Griffon helicopters.
This is the eighth medical evacuation Task Force-Mali has conducted since arriving in the African nation last year.