News / Africa

France Says 1,800 Mauritania Troops Headed to Mali

FILE - French President Francois Hollande, right, and Mauritania's President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, Elysee Palace, Paris, Nov. 20, 2012.
FILE - French President Francois Hollande, right, and Mauritania's President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, Elysee Palace, Paris, Nov. 20, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
— Mauritania will send 1,800 troops to Mali as part of a planned U.N. force to keep the peace in the West African nation after a French-led offensive that has ousted Islamist rebels from the desert north, France's foreign minister said on Thursday.
 
Laurent Fabius said a U.N. Security Council resolution to approve the creation of a 12,600-strong U.N. peacekeeping force from July 1 should be approved as soon as next week.
 
That force, expected to be made up primarily of African contingents, will take up the slack as France starts drawing down its 4,000-strong force to just 1,000 by year-end.
 
Mauritania, an Islamic republic which borders Mali to the west, has one of the most effective armies in the region, with experience of battling Islamist fighters in desert terrain but has so far remained aloof from the Malian conflict.
 
"The Mauritanian president on Monday evening told me he was ready ... to send 1,800 troops to this future U.N. contingent," Fabius told the European parliament's foreign affairs committee in Strasbourg. "It's important because Mauritanians are good fighters, have a lot of experience and its geographical location is significant."
 
Fabius made his comments after visiting Mauritania this week. Mauritanian officials declined to comment.
 
France, aided by about 2,400 troops from Chad, began a military offensive in January to drive out Islamist fighters, who had hijacked a revolt by Mali's Tuareg rebels and seized two-thirds of the West African country.
 
Some 6,000 troops from the West African regional force MISMA are also supporting the Malian army but have barely engaged in combat.
 
Chad, whose soldiers are deemed the most battle-hardened in the region, said on Sunday it would also withdraw from Mali, although left open the door to return under a U.N. mandate.
 
France has already said its 1,000 troops would be at the disposal of the Malian government and U.N. peacekeepers to quickly respond against any future militant attacks.
 
"Let's be blunt. We don't want them coming back, so we need to take precautions," Fabius said. "A U.N. peacekeeping force doesn't do that so the French will be there to do that job if necessary."

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid