News24

W African leaders gather for Mali summit

2013-01-19 13:15

Bamako - West African leaders are gathering for a summit on Mali to flesh out their plans for ramping up its military role alongside the French.

The meetings taking place on Saturday in Ivory Coast come as the French-led military intervention in Mali enters its second week.

Charles Koffi Diby, Ivory Coast's foreign affairs minister, says Mali's neighbours must "face up to the weight of our responsibilities in conducting and co-ordinating military operations in Mali".

West African nations are expected to contribute about 3 000 troops, while France has said it has 1 800 forces in its former colony.

France's unilateral move on January 11 to intervene in Mali has put both European and African contributors to a long-planned, UN-backed stabilisation effort for Mali on a faster track.