Britain To Deploy Troops To Mali
January 29, 2013
Britain to send forces to Mali as part of EU mission
Downing Street has said that the British government will dispatch 350 troops to Mali to aid French troops stationed in the country’s north, as part of a UK mission to train local forces and engage in “force protection.”
British representatives are attending a meeting in Brussels on Tuesday to discuss the provision of troops as part of an EU mission to the African country. The EU estimates that 500 supplementary troops will be sent to Mali, some 350 of which will be British. This will include approximately 40 military advisers who will train soldiers in Mali and 200 British soldiers to be sent to neighboring African countries.
An ECOWAS (Economic Community Of West African States) force of West African troops – about 7,500 of them – are also coming into Mali to take over some garrison duties, and steadily take over the fighting role from the French.
The budget for the campaign, which has been set at around $950m will be financed through an international donors’ conference based in Ethiopia.
British Prime Minister David Cameron told French President François Hollande on Sunday evening that the UK was keen to provide military assistance in Mali and West Africa, including the training of local forces.
…Downing Street did state that the country has both the “capability and capacity” for a larger deployment. The country has already supplied two C-17 military transport aircraft and a Sentinel surveillance plane.