The soldiers’ repatriation was announced on Wednesday after 20 members of the detachment that was stationed in Maradi in southern Niger tested positive for coronavirus. The Belgian troops were in Mali as part of the bilateral New Nero operation against jihadist groups operating in the Sahel. Their task was to train units of Niger’s army to carry out special operations against the jihadists.
After around twenty members of the detachment tested positive for coronavirus it was decided that they and around thirty of their colleagues should be brought home as “they had been exposed to high-risk contact”
During the past few days all the soldiers have been brought back to Belgium and put into quarantine. Belgian military sources say that the soldiers were brought back home aboard German Army aircraft. The Germany military is specialised in medical evacuations.