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Prince Joachim of Denmark visits military bases in North Africa for Christmas

Alex Berger/CC/Flickr

Today, the Danish court revealed that Prince Joachim had joined his fellow students of the Centre des Hautes Études Militaires (CHEM) on a trip to French military bases in Chad, Niger, and Mali.

The trip was a study visit on the Opération Barkhane which is a French-led military operation in the Sahel belt. It consists of a 4,500-strong French force since August 2014. The operation has been designed with five countries, and former French colonies, in the Sahel: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger. 

Since December 2019, Denmark is one of the countries that support the Opération with 70 Danish troops and two heavy-lift helicopters. Thus, during the trip, Prince Joachim was given the opportunity to make an informal visit to the Danish helicopter department which is deployed in Gao, Mali. During his visit, the Danish soldiers spoke with Prince Joachim about their duties while deployed and Prince Joachim spoke with them about the strategic effect that the Danish contribution is delivering in Operation Barkhane.

Prince Joachim also visited the Danish House where a Christmas celebration was held. The Prince shared a personal message about his visit on the Danish Court’s Instagram account saying: “Together with my fellow CHEM students, I went on study visits to the Opération Barkhane in the Sahel belt in North-West Africa. Among other things, we went to Gao in Mali where I was given an informal visit to the Danish helicopter department. Here I was invited inside the « Danish House » where of course I wished everyone a Merry Christmas. The Danish contribution and the efforts of the Danish soldiers are highly appreciated by the coalition.”

Prince Joachim started a one-year high-level military management training at the Centre des Hautes Études Militaires (CHEM) and the Institut des Hautes Études de la Défense Nationale (IHEDN) in September 2019 after he was invited by French President Emmanuel Macron.