Germany to send military personnel to Mali

Germany to send military personnel to Mali
# 03 February 2013 00:26 (UTC +04:00)

De Maiziere said Saturday on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference that the German government had not yet decided the exact number of troops but that it would send "around 40" for training to Mali as part of the European Union Training Mission in Mali (EUTM).

The German troops would be deployed to Mali "in late March, early April," the minister added.

The German Bundestag (parliament) must first approve the deployment as the army is under its control.

About 450 European military personnel, including 250 trainers, will be deployed to Mali following the EU mission, approved by EU ministers on January 17. The EU troops will cooperate with the African regional force AFISMA, which is slowly sending 8,000 troops.

Germany has already sent two Transall military transport aircraft to Mali to assist France in its war against local fighters in northern Mali. A third German aircraft is also reportedly on standby.

Austria's defense ministry spokesman said on Saturday that a team of around 10 military medical staff would be sent to Bamako.

On January 11, France launched the war on Mali under the pretext of halting the advance of anti-government fighters in the West African country.

Analysts believe motives such as exploiting untapped resources like oil, gold and uranium in the region are behind the multinational military campaign in Mali.