Norway signs extension of rotation system for transport aircraft to the UN operation in Mali

Norway, together with Denmark, Belgium and Portugal have signed a new Letter of Intent prolonging the air transport services to the UN mission in Mali from November 2018 until November 2020.

This is a continuation of a Norwegian initiative together with consequent dialogue between the five partner nations which in 2016 resulted in the signing of a Letter of Intent offering a two-year long rotational concept on military transport aircraft to the UN’s peacekeeping operation in Mali (MINUSMA).

Portugal's PR Francisco Duarte Lopes, Norway's PR Tore Hattrem, Denmark's PR Ib Petersen and Belgium's PR Marc Pecsteen de Buytswerve as they signed the Letter of Intent.

So far Norway and Portugal have completed their tours, Sweden takes over after Denmark in the middle of November and the last and final country is Belgium, finishing in November 2018.

- The multi-national rotational concept was and still is novel concept in the UN but one that has received strong support and created a lot of interest and hopefully synergies. It has created predictability both for the contributing countries and for the UN to a mission. The concept has also been cost-effective for all participants. With the completion of the Norwegian, Portuguese and soon Danish contribution the concept has so far completed over 500 sorties and transported a little over 29 000 personnel and over 1 000 tons of cargo over 21 months. This is impressive, says Norway's Minister of Defence Frank Bakke-Jensen.

This transportation aircraft plays a critical role for the UN mission in Mali. Photo: Norwegian Armed Forces/Sigurd Tonning-Olsen.

In June this year, the Norwegian government decided to offer to the UN another rotation with the Norwegian C-130 in 2019. Additionally, we have decided to extend our camp facilities to all rotational partners out 2020.