France to buy drones for Mali - report

2013-05-18 10:03

Paris - France will buy two medium-altitude Reaper drones from the United States air force to back up its operations against Islamists in Mali, the Air et Cosmos specialist magazine reported on Friday.

It said on its online edition that an agreement had been reached for the purchase of two non-armed MQ-9 drones from the US air force.

It said the French air force, which has deployed the Harfang drone in Mali - made by the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company - wanted to acquire more modern drones quickly.

Any purchase of new Reapers directly from its manufacturer General Atomics would mean a delay of several months.

Air et Cosmos said an official announcement could be made by French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who is currently visiting the United States.

The French defence ministry refused to comment on the report.

France launched a military offensive in its former colony Mali in January and has since pushed the Al-Qaeda-linked militants into desert and mountain hideouts, from where they are staging guerrilla attacks.

But Paris has begun withdrawing its 4 500 troops deployed in the west African nation and started handing over the reins to an African force, the International Mission for Support to Mali (MISMA).

  • TinavoMagaisa - 2013-05-18 10:06

    Whats in it for France? France is the root cause of the instability in the Great Lakes Region and west Africa

      Jim Bean - 2013-05-18 10:30

      How about some evidence to back up your ridiculous rhetoric ? And what about what is happening in Nigeria's north east ? Is that France too ? I have been following your posts here daily. I think you are just a troll..

      TinavoMagaisa - 2013-05-18 10:48

      Great to know I have a "follower" in you Jim. Before you we go further, you still havent answered, whats in it for France to be in Mali and providing such expensive military hardware to Mali whilst back at home the economy is faultering?

      TinavoMagaisa - 2013-05-18 10:55

      and Jim, read this about France benefiting from the former colonies through the barrel of the gun and corruption:

      TinavoMagaisa - 2013-05-18 11:33

      @Jamba, I do agree that almost all African politicians come cheap. But the point remains, countries and individuals "buying" the said politicians are equally guilty and morally wrong because it takes two to tango. The level with which the French do it is worse. No peace in any country that the French are involved in. That cant be a coincidence

      TinavoMagaisa - 2013-05-18 11:55

      @Jamba, I think Europe had a head start compared to Africa. Secondly, Europe is practicing its natural form of governance and culture hasnt been disturbed, even with time. Africa isnt, the so-called democracy that Africa is supposed to be having isnt natural to the continent, we had a way of doing things. Thirdly, Europe benefited at the expense of African from the Scramble for Africa period, am sure if tables had been turned then things could have been different now. Fourthly, is it fair Jamba for countries like Ivory Coast for them to keep more than a three quarters of their banking reserves with the French national bank and cant withdraw money without approval from the French Minister in charge of African Affairs? Gabgo resisted that and where is he now? I think Africa need to wean itself away from historical links with Europe and start doing business on equal footing. Not the current set up.

      TinavoMagaisa - 2013-05-18 12:28

      It can be done and the way the Germans re-invented themselves iS a good example. But in Africa, once you get a leader who wants to work honestly for his country and wont want to sell his resources, he or she will meet terrible fate, most likely at the hands of the former colonial masters. Remember Lumumba, Khrumah, Gabgo? Its a double edged sword for Africa but unfortunately countries like South Africa have a better past compared to other countries and are in a position to stand up but we have seen how the country has voted at the UN lately.

      Freddie Le Roux - 2013-05-18 13:34

      To answer the question "what's in it for France?" is simple. If your neighbouring state had an active terrorist group that has fee reign to do what they please that would ultimately put your own security and sovereignty at risk. They are protecting themselves against future terrorist threats which any nation should do to protect their own citizens. Or is that too unreasonable? Don't get me wrong I don't have much time for European gov's but what France is doing is actually positive and is normal state security protocol being followed. Unlike our own gov that let's al -Qaeda do what they want but shut down the boeremag quick quick.

      TinavoMagaisa - 2013-05-18 15:55

      Makes sense but Mali is not France's neighbour. There are also in the Congo, Ivory Coast and literally all former colonies and i doubt its about security because where they go they wont be stability. I think its more about controlling resources of these countries

  • Stefan Swanepoel - 2013-05-18 15:28

    Jamba, Tinavo, I enjoy your conversation. Definitely one levl up relative to the insulting, mindless comments I often see here on News24. Africa needs more factual debate, strong leaders and less dwelling in the past, except for learning from past mistakes. Africa too often wants to find someone in the past to blame for her failure.

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