Norway sends a small group of special soldiers to Burkina Faso in West Africa to participate in an international military exercise.
Flintlock is a great exercise that is arranged annually by the US Africa Command. This year, Norway is one of 31 countries – 15 western and 16 from the region – who participate, writes Vårt Land. One of the stated goals of this year’s exercise is to “strengthen the ability of key partner countries in the region to counter violent extremist organizations”.
– The exercise is useful for the defense. By joining, we strengthen our ability to handle crisis situations in the region, and the Armed Forces are better prepared to handle Norwegian interests if they were to be threatened again, says State Secretary Tone Skogen (H) of the Ministry of Defense and refers to the terrorist attack against In Amenas. 40 people were killed in the attack in Algeria six years ago, including five Norwegian Statoil employees.
The forest says Norway sends “a smaller number of special soldiers” to Burkina Faso. There they will “train and mentor” local forces so that they will be better equipped to meet the challenges of the region.
The Norwegian soldiers will be in the country for three weeks. The exercise takes place in Burkina Faso and neighboring Mauritania from 18 February to 1 March.