Thursday, January 17, 2013
The first troops have arrived at Bamako’s Senou International Airport. The first soldiers to be part of the West African Military Forces have arrived in Mali on Thursday.
About 200 soldiers from Togo with another 200 expected to arrive this evening from Nigeria will form the core of the West African Forces in Mali, who will, together with the French and Mali military, fight against the Muslim extremists related to Al Qaida in the vast northern regions of the country. We are talking about 3300 additional men.
The French Intervention Forces have doubled as well in the past few days, according to French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Thursday. From countries around Mali, another 900 French military forces will support the actions in Mali.
An Army action in Algeria, to free hostages, has ended with the death of 30 of them, but it is not known if the two groups are related. However, it looks like a widening of the conflict.
The chairman of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, has called for a ceasefire and re-opening of negotiations.
The UN Security Council has uttered her “understanding and support” for the French and international military intervention.