Germany To Deploy Several Hundred Troops To Mali
February 19, 2013
German Cabinet approves troop deployment to Mali
Members of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Cabinet have approved plans to send several hundred German soldiers to Mali. The Cabinet set a higher number than will initially be deployed in case the war escalates.
Up to 330 troops are slated to aid the UN-mandated mission in Mali, according to initial reports released after the Tuesday morning meeting in Berlin. The German Cabinet approved two separate mandates, one of which is to provide a maximum of 180 soldiers for an EU-led training mission for Malian forces. The second foresees sending up to 150 troops for logistical support.
According to the green-lighted plans, 40 soldiers will initially be deployed to assist in the training of Malian troops. The German armed forces are to send an additional 40 specialists to a field hospital.
The second draft mandate aims to strengthen logistical support, which Germany has been providing since the beginning of the French-African led mission in January. In addition to its planes already transporting troops from neighboring countries to Mali, it is to send three Transall aircrafts.
The German Cabinet also pledged to send an Airbus for aerial refueling of French fighter jets.
Tuesday’s decision by Germany’s Cabinet followed closely after the EU foreign ministers had agreed to begin deploying a military training mission to the West African nation, a plan which had been in development since the beginning of the UN-mandated mission in January.
The European Union Training Mission in Mali (EUTM), which currently has a mandate of 15 months and an upward limit of 500 soldiers, expects to commence its reform of the Malian army within the coming months.
By mid-March, the number of EU soldiers in Bamako is expected to reach nearly 150, double the amount of troops currently stationed in the Malian capital. An estimated 200 European military advisors are to begin training four Malian battalions of 640 men each by the start of the following month.
In January, France launched a military intervention…
kms/ccp (AFP, dpa)
Xinhua News Agency
February 19, 2013
Germany approves troops deployment in Mali
BERLIN: The German government approved on Tuesday the deployment of up to 330 soldiers in Mali for an EU-led training mission and logistical support for France’s mission in the West African country.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet met on Tuesday morning, approving two separate mandates including sending a maximum of 180 soldiers for the European Union Training Mission (EUTM) and sending up to 150 troops to strengthen logistical support for the French and African troops…in Mali.
According to local media reports, the deployment would make Germany the second-biggest contributor to the EUTM mission behind France.
The deployment plans now needs the approval of the German parliament, which will deliberate over the proposals before the end of the week.
France has been carrying out a military intervention within the mandate of a U.N. resolution since January in Mali to respond to the West African country’s request for military assistance to counter its rebel groups’ offensive.