On Friday 15th May, the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) training team at EUTM Mali has carried out practical training sessions for EU trainers to reacquaint themselves with the key concepts of the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC).
The practical training scenarios were carried out in Koulikoro Training Camp by the UK and Irish Training Team and included a simulated checkpoint scenario, training on response to gender based violence and scenarios involving handling and disarming of child soldiers, as well as command decisions relating to protected sites such as schools and hospitals.
The aim of the exercises was for the EU trainers to put into action the key concepts of IHL: Distinction, Proportionality, Military necessity and Humanity. Through practical training scenarios they were able to engage in realistic situations in the Malian context and ensure that IHL will be subsequently be mainstreamed into all training that the EU mission provides to the Malian Armed Forces (MAF).
Practical IHL training scenarios will be carried out in upcoming training sessions for the MAF by the EUTM IHL Training Team and its Malian partners.
Bapho 16.05.2015. The Combat River Crossing (CRC) training performed by German engineers has successfully been concluded. All participants of the training received their leaving certificates during a festive parade. Afterwards the German trainers were awarded with the Common Security and Defence Policy service medal.
In their nine week training, Malian engineers learned to assemble and maneuver a pontoon ferry and proved their skills in a final exercise. The CRC training is a key competence, considering the limited infrastructure and the small number of bridges across the Niger in the country.
In his speech in front of numerous guests from Malian society and military, the Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff of EUTM, Colonel Klaus Schirra, praised the Malian soldiers for their performances during the whole training: “Maneuvering pontoons, weighing over 1200 kilogram under extreme heat is a work for real soldiers. You have demonstrated that you are capable to perform your mission without external help from the German trainers during the final exercise. Chapeau! You need to continue your training and work hard to serve your country, the Republic of Mali, in order to protect its wonderful people.”
Combat River Crossing Ausbildung erfolgreich beendet
Bapho, 16.05.2015. Die Fährausbildung malischer Soldaten durch deutsche Pioniere aus Minden ist offiziell beendet. Im Rahmen eines feierlichen Abschlussappells wurden die Abschlusszeugnisse für die Teilnehmer der Fährausbildung verliehen und die deutschen Soldaten anschließend mit der Einsatzmedaille der EUTM ausgezeichnet.
Die Ausbildung der malischen Pioniere hat insgesamt neun Wochen gedauert und endete mit einer Abschlussübung, in der die Teilnehmer selbstständig und unter Einsatzbedingungen die Gewässerüberquerung mithilfe einer Fähre geübt haben. Angesichts der geringen Infrastruktur und den wenigen Brücken im Land, stellt die Fährausbildung eine Schlüsselkompetenz für die malischen Streitkräfte dar.
In seiner Ansprache vor zahlreichen Gästen aus Gesellschaft und Militär Malis, lobte der stellvertretende Kommandeur und Chef des Stabes der European Training Mission Mali (EUTM), Oberst i.G. Klaus Schirra, die angetretenen Soldaten für ihre gezeigten Leistungen: „Über 1200 Kilogramm schwere Pontons unter extremer Hitze von bis zu 50 Grad zu manövrieren ist eine Arbeit für echte Soldaten. Sie haben in der Abschlussübung gezeigt, dass Sie Ihren Auftrag auch ohne die Hilfe Ihrer deutschen Ausbilder durchführen können. Chapeau! Jetzt müssen Sie weiterhin hart arbeiten und trainieren um Ihren Land, der Republik Mali zu dienen und seine wunderbaren Menschen zu schützen “
Following their first training by EUTM, Malian soldiers expect a difficult task in the contested areas of northern Mali. To successfully overcome these challenges in the mid- and long term the Malian battle groups or GTIAs (Groupement Tactique Interarme) receive a decentralized training in order to improve and foster their military skills. For the past nine weeks, GTIA Balanzan has been trained in the 2nd defense region’s base in Segou.
Moreover, Malian soldiers were not only trained by EUTM soldiers in military skills but. also educated in, humanitarian law, ethics and leadership.
For all trainers it was necessary to bear in mind that many of their Malian trainees had already been deployed to northern Mali and some of them were even engaged in battles in order to defend their country. Bearing this in mind, the mutual interactions were characterized by respect, fairness, support, professionalism and openness.
Alltogether the training was an enriching experience for both sides. One of the EUTM trainers explained his experiences stating: “After the training, one of the Malians soldiers told me that he only survived in battle because he was trained by our predecessors. We are aware of this great responsibility because our training can help to save the lives of our Malian comrades.”
At the end of the re-training, which was marked by a shooting exercise with recently received new weapons, the paths of the European and Malian soldiers part once again. While the trainers are returning to their home base in Koulikoro to get prepared for the training of the next GTIA, the local soldiers have no time to rest. They are needed in the northern part of the country to secure the assignment of the peace agreement which has been signed on 15 May 2015. All EUTM members wish them good luck in this difficult mission.
For soldiers in a mission it is reassuring to get the best possible medical treatment in case of an emergency. For members of the European Training Mission Mali ( EUTM) this is guaranteed through a field hospital, the so called “Role 2”, supplied by Germany.
The Role 2 is located in Koulikoro and based on a modular system to provide all the medical equipment needed in this mission. Over fifty paramedics and doctors from Germany, Austria and Serbia deliver medical service for their European comrades 24/7.
There is an emergency room facility to cater for first clinical emergency treatment. A laboratory and an x-ray deliver skills such as in a European hospital for further medical investigations. Up to eight patients can be treated in a ward. Medication is stored in its own pharmacy.
During the training of the Malian armed forces, mobile emergency teams and a “Airmedevac” – helicopter accompany the EUTM – soldiers in the whole area of operations.
Major (Med) Dr. Wetzel was the commander of the Role 2. At the end of her four month tour, the command was transferred in a ceremonial handover to Lt.Col. Markoff. The ceremony has been conducted by the Mission Commander, General Alfonso García-Vaquero Pradal.
In his speech, he praised the merits of Dr. Wetzel and her team: “Since the beginning of the mission you have been deeply engaged to support your comrades, working as a team in the benefit of our health and security.” General Vaquero Pradal emphasized the outstanding performance of Major Dr. Wetzel by addressing her as a “real ambassador” of her country and the medical services of the German armed forces.
After the Mission Commander expressed his best wishes for the new Role 2 Commander, the General switched for the pleasure of the mostly German soldiers of the formation into their mother tongue: “Angehörige der Role 2. Ich bin sehr stolz auf Sie. Sie haben mein vollstes Vertrauen. Machen Sie weiter so! (Members of the Role 2. I am very proud of you. You have my full trust. Keep up the good work!”).
Under new command and highly motivated, the soldiers of the Role 2 will continue their service for the health and security of all members of the mission.
Bamako, 03 May 2015. At the surroundings of an official visit in Mali, the vice-president of the German parliament, Mrs. Edelgard Bulmahn, has visited the Headquarters of the EUTM Mali in Bamako. She was accompanied by the Member of Parliament, Mr. Stefan Liebich. At the beginning of her visit, Mrs. Bulmahn was informed by the Mission Commander about the progress of the mission. The distinguished delegation also met German soldiers and discussed with them their impressions and experiences in Mali.
The German contingent commander, Lt. Col. Bachmann appreciated the visit and stated: “I value this visit very much. The German Armed Forces are a parliamentary army. Therefore it is of utmost importance that Members of Parliament get an impression of our mission. They must know what it means to send soldiers abroad.”
Bundestags Vize-Präsidentin im Gespräch mit deutschen Soldaten
Bamako, 03.05.2015. Am Rande eines offiziellen Besuchs zur Eröffnung eines Entwicklungshilfeprojekts in Mali hat Bundestagsvizepräsidentin Edelgard Bulmahn den deutschen Soldatinnen und Soldaten der EUTM einen Besuch im Hauptquartier der Mission in Bamako abgestattet. Begleitet wurde sie vom Bundestagsabgeordneten Stefan Liebich. Im Gespräch erkundigten sich die Parlamentarier nach den Erfahrungen und persönlichen Eindrücken der Soldatinnen und Soldaten im Auslandseinsatz.
„Ich freue mich über jeden Politikerbesuch hier in Mali. Wir sind eine Parlamentsarmee. Deshalb ist es besonders wichtig, dass sich die Abgeordneten selbst ein Bild von den Bedingungen vor Ort machen. Sie müssen erleben, was es bedeutet, wenn man Soldaten in den Einsatz schickt“, fasst der Kontingentführer, Oberstleutnant Bachmann, den Besuch zusammen.