A French soldier was killed in combat action in Mali while supporting Operation Barkhane, the French Army said in a statement.
The deceased was identified as 1CL Kévin Clément (21) who was assigned to the 1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment (1er Régiment Étranger de Cavalerie, 1er REC), the only cavalry regiment in the French Foreign Legion (FFL; Légion étrangère).
He died on May 4 during a clash with terrorists in the region of Ménaka in Mali. Seriously wounded by a bullet to the head, he was taken in charge by the medical team and evacuated to Gao, where he died from his injuries.
The Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly expressed her condolences to the Soldier’s family and brothers in arm.
Profonde tristesse à l’annonce du décès du légionnaire de 1CL Kévin Clément dans une action de combat ce matin au Mali. Toute l’@armeedeterre est aux côtés de sa famille et de ses camarades de la Légion étrangère et du 1er REC qui paient un lourd tribut. La mission continue. pic.twitter.com/XASjvpvuOh
— Chef d’état-major de l’armée de Terre (@CEMAT_FR) May 4, 2020
Earlier this month, another French Foreign Legion soldier died after sustaining injuries in an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion in Mali while supporting Operation Barkhane.
The deceased was identified as Brigadier Dmytro Martynyouk of the 1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment. He was seriously injured on April 23 in Mali when a Barkhane Force military tanker was hit by an improvised explosive device in Mali’s Liptako region while the unit was engaged in an operation against armed terrorist groups.
Operation Barkhane, named after a crescent-shaped dune in the Sahara desert, is an ongoing anti-insurgent operation in Africa’s Sahel region, which commenced 1 August 2014. The operation consists of a 3,000-strong French force, which will be permanent and headquartered in N’Djamena, the capital of Chad.
Barkhane has been designed with five countries, and former French colonies, that span the Sahel: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. These countries are collectively referred to as the “G5 Sahel”.