1st African forces move to central Mali

2013-01-24 07:43


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Paris - The first contingent of an African force being deployed in Mali has begun moving towards the centre of the country, where French troops are seeking to help Mali's army push back Islamist fighters, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Wednesday.

"A certain number of [African] forces have already started to move towards central towns," Fabius told a parliamentary committee.

Fabius said a total of 1 000 African troops, from West African countries and from Chad had been deployed in the Malian capital Bamako and neighbouring Niger.

He did not specify how many of these troops were moving towards the frontline of the conflict.

Fabius said the soldiers from Chad would be very important. "They have proven qualities and they know the terrain," he said.

France has been pushing for months for the deployment of an African force but was forced to send its own troops in a vanguard role after Islamists seized the central town of Konna earlier this month, raising fears Bamako could be vulnerable to attack.

"The African force is deploying much faster than expected," Fabius said. "Obviously that poses a number of logistical difficulties but I have to say that I have seen a very big effort by our African friends."

The UN has authorised the deployment of a 3 300-strong force under the auspices of West African grouping Ecowas. But the involvement of Chad, which has committed up to 2 000 troops, means the force could now be much bigger.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    ecowas  |  france  |  mali  |  west africa

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Boks more focused after Japan shock
Parisse to miss Italy's last clash
LIVE: New Zealand v Tonga
Ireland recall Toner, Healy for France
Traffic Alerts

It is always easier to notice the faults in others rather than face our own. Focusing too much on the perfect and ideal scenario...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.