News / Europe

US to Help France in Mali

Mali's Foreign Minister Tieman Coulibaly, center, waits for the start of an emergency meeting of EU foreign ministers at the EU Council building in Brussels, Belgium, January 17, 2013.
Mali's Foreign Minister Tieman Coulibaly, center, waits for the start of an emergency meeting of EU foreign ministers at the EU Council building in Brussels, Belgium, January 17, 2013.
VOA News
The United States has agreed to help France airlift troops and equipment into Mali, where Islamist extremists control the north.

France has asked the Pentagon for help and officials from both countries are holding detailed talks on what is needed.  The Pentagon has no plans at this time to send troops into Mali.

French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian says 1,400 troops are now in Mali and that France plans to send in as many as 2,500 soldiers.  He says French forces will stay in Mali until the situation is stable.

West African military chiefs say 2,000 troops from Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso, and Togo will soon arrive in Mali as part of a United Nations authorized force.

Also Thursday, residents fled the Malian town of Diabaly which was seized this week by Islamist extremists.  Witnesses report fighting between French soldiers and militants nearby.

A Malian journalist told VOA correspondent Anne Look that phone lines in Diabaly are dead and that residents have reported Islamists deployed throughout the town.

Al-Qaida-linked Islamic extremists seized control of northern Mali after renegade soldiers toppled the government in March, leaving a temporary power vacuum.  The militants have imposed harsh conservative Islamic law across the north.

France sent troops into Mali at the request of the country's interim government.

African Union Deputy Commissioner Erastus Mwencha told VOA the organization always seeks a peaceful resolution in Mali, but he says there is a need now for a military force.

"We need to send a strong signal to the separatists and the people who are there that the action cannot be tolerated, and we need to eventually get -- our expectation finally is to restore peace to make sure Mali remains as an integral state and that the state is in charge, that Mali is in charge of its own affairs," Mwencha said.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.

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by: Sidewinder
January 20, 2013 7:35 AM
All I would say to Aum, is remember Rwanda, Siera Leone and a few other Countries where internecine violence has occurred with numerous lives being lost, people displaced , the economy destroyed and huge numbers of people forced to become refugees. France at least had the courage and initiative to act. Viva La France.


by: Aum
January 18, 2013 9:48 AM
"We need to send a strong signal to the separatists and the people who are there that the action cannot be tolerated, and we need to eventually get -- our expectation finally is to restore peace to make sure Mali remains as an integral state and that the state is in charge, that Mali is in charge of its own affairs,"

funny how that completely contradicts what's going on.
Moreover, americans can't even keep their schools safe and yet here they are in Africa imposing their self-proclaimed righteousness.
france should also learn to stick to their own issues, god knows they got enough going on in europe to stick their noses in a continent they have exploited for hundreds of years.
it's so sad to see Africa is still being treated like a child who can't think or even move on its own, by colonialist powers, and even by other Africans.
In the words of the great Patrice Lumumba

"...it is our poor people for whom independence has been transformed into a cage from whose confines the outside world looks on us, sometimes with kindly sympathy, but at other times with joy and pleasure. But my faith will remain unshakable. I know and I feel in my heart that sooner or later my people will rid themselves of all their enemies, both internal and external, and that they will rise as one man to say No to the degradation and shame of colonialism, and regain their dignity in the clear light of the sun."

In Response

by: Aum
January 18, 2013 3:46 PM
@Richard McCabe
the people of Mali strongly support france and the AU?
I suppose france also cares a lot about Mali, right?
In fact, france cares so much about Mali, that it took it as it's property during the early 1900's, as if Mali, rather Africa, was a piece of god-forsaken land waiting to be taken, piece by piece.
About the AU. Who IS the AU? a useless organization much like the UN whose only purpose is to give diplomats the right to intervene in a country's sovereignty in the name of foreign interests.
About the president of Mali. Do you really think somebody elected by a process that was overseen by blaise compaore is at all qualified to call on foreign support in the name of its own people's well-being?
Who did he run to to make sure he was alright after he was attacked in 2012?
Corruption in African politics is not something new or something unheard of. If so-called diplomats cared one bit about their own people, they would handle their own business and take care of their own before calling on countries who don't give a damn about African people or the way they have lived for centuries because of imperialist and colonialist powers such as france.
My arguments are all proven by history, that is an undeniable fact.
The european union and the u.s have never in their history been interested in the well-being of African people, without putting their own selfish interests first. Those African men who have taken a stand against european intervention have been heartlessly assassinated by those who would rather see a profit from an oppressed Africa, than a free and dignified Africa.

In Response

by: Richard McCabe
January 18, 2013 12:04 PM
The people of Mali strongly support France and the AU, as well as the minor roles by the EU and US. The present government of Mali asked for their assistance. You have no justification for your statement.


by: Thooj Ying from: USA
January 17, 2013 10:03 PM
US needs to help France if France needed. Terrorist is for all who's love peace against them. Thank you for France.


by: michael from: usa
January 17, 2013 9:36 PM
france is fighting the good cause and asking us to suport them,we should help them in this cause.not to do so would be irresponsible.it's my tax money and i say do it.


by: Jim Stack from: Texas
January 17, 2013 9:05 PM
And so it begins. Do not expect war protests against Obama.

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