News / Africa

Regional Leaders Want African Troop Surge in Mali

Malian soldiers man a checkpoint on the Gao road outside Sevare, some 620 kilometers (385 miles) north of Mali's capital Bamako,  Jan. 27, 2013.Malian soldiers man a checkpoint on the Gao road outside Sevare, some 620 kilometers (385 miles) north of Mali's capital Bamako, Jan. 27, 2013.
x
Malian soldiers man a checkpoint on the Gao road outside Sevare, some 620 kilometers (385 miles) north of Mali's capital Bamako,  Jan. 27, 2013.
Malian soldiers man a checkpoint on the Gao road outside Sevare, some 620 kilometers (385 miles) north of Mali's capital Bamako, Jan. 27, 2013.
Peter Clottey
West African heads of state have decided to send more troops to Mali in an effort to speed up the defeat of Islamic militants who control parts of that West African country, according to regional official.

The decision of the leaders is expected to lead to a deployment of 5,000 to 6,000 troops, up from the initially planned 3,300 troops.

The decision came as regional defense chiefs met over the weekend, said Sonny Ugoh, ECOWAS communications director of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

“They met to see how they can fast track the deployment of regional troops to support the Malian Armed Forces and the French Forces in northern Mali,” said Ugoh.

“It has become obvious to all that we will need beyond the 3,300 original pledges that they had [made] to deal with the situation,” Ugoh said. “Chadians are coming with about 2,000 troops and one or two other African countries have indicated that they also want to contribute.

“What is important is that there should be an expeditious deployment so that we can support the Malians and French Forces who are making quite some progress in dealing with the situation in the north,” he said. “And we need more boots on the ground to flush out the Islamists in northern Mali.”

Ugoh says contrary to earlier reports, the regional force will take on the Islamists militarily in an effort to restore government control in northern Mali.

“Of course they are equipped for combat role as part of the U.N. Security Council mandate,” Ugoh said of the African troops. “What we have said is that we needed the support of the international community to plug the gaps that we have identified in their ability to function effectively.”

He said ECOWAS wants to make sure that Mali remains a united country with a credible government.

“[ECOWAS wants] to maintain Mali’s territorial integrity. And then we have to go back to the consultative process and to develop a roadmap that will enable Malians to restore democratic governance, have a president that is elected and an elected parliament and have an inclusive process that gives everybody a sense of belonging and that is sustainable,” he said.

Meanwhile, ECOWAS is scheduled to host an international donors roundtable conference Tuesday in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.

The objective, Ugoh says, is to raise about $500 million to support the troop deployment to Mali.
Clottey interview with Sonny Ugoh, ECOWAS communications director
Clottey interview with Sonny Ugoh, ECOWAS communications directori
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid