FRENCH DEFENSE MINISTRY SAY “TROOPS FROM NIGERIA AND CHAD MOVING INTO GAO TO STABILIZE THE SITUATION” ; TOGOLESE TROOPS DEPLOY TO SAN IN CENTRAL MALI

Nigerian troops exit a NAF Hercules C130-H30 in Bamako after their nighttime arrival in Bamako, Mali

Nigerian troops exit a NAF Hercules C130-H30 in Bamako after their nighttime arrival in Bamako, Mali

BLOOMBERG
(26 Jan, 2013)

French troops captured the city of Gao in
northeast Mali from Islamist rebels today, France’s Defense Ministry said, in a further step toward driving the
militants out of the country. Malian and African forces were being deployed to secure the area around the city, about 590 miles (950 kilometers) northeast of the capital, Bamako, following the overnight action by French special forces, according to the ministry.

French troops were playing a supporting
role after taking the airport and a bridge over the River Niger to the south of the city, French military spokesman Thierry Burkhard said by phone.

“Malian and French forces liberate Gao,”
the ministry said in its e-mailed
statement today. “Several terrorist
groups battled with the French forces
intervening in support of the Malian
army.” Rebel transport equipment and several logistic sites were destroyed, according to the ministry.

France intervened in Mali on Jan. 11 after Islamist fighters overran the town of Konna, sparking concern they might
advance to Bamako. The French defense
ministry said 3,700 French soldiers are
involved in the operation, including 2,500 on Mali soil.The mayor of Gao, Sadou Diallo, returned to the city after having taken refugee in Bamako, the French Defense Ministry said.

Troops from Nigeria and Chad are arriving to take over from the French
forces in Gao, it said. African nations are deploying a force that may total as many as 3,300 soldiers to aid the fight against the rebels, who include Islamist militants and ethnic Touareg separatists, in the country that gained independence from France in 1960.

West African nations have decided to
increase their Mali mission to 5,700
troops, General Shehu Abdulkadir,
commander of the African-led
international support mission to Mali, or
Afisma, said today in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Separately, Chad also is sending 2,250 soldiers, Abdulkadir said.

A new contingent of African forces from Togo arrived yesterday in the central
town of San, Radio Mali reported, citing
Thierno Boubacar Cisse, the governor of
Segou, with 209 soldiers joining Togolese troops already deployed there.

Nigerian troops started deploying on Jan. 17. President President Goodluck
Jonathan has offered 1,200 soldiers to
join the African force.

African leaders start a two-day meeting
Sunday, Jan. 27, in the Ethiopian capital,
Addis Ababa, to discuss how to make
sure their force has enough resources to
sustain a campaign against insurgents
who control the north of Mali. The force may cost $300 million a year, the African
Union Commission’s Peace and Security
Director, El-Ghassim Wane, told reporters Jan. 24.

Togo, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Senegal, Benin and Ghana have pledged to contribute troops to the African-led
force.

The insurgents took control of northern Mali, including the historic town of Timbuktu, after a coup in March last year by government soldiers complaining that they hadn’t received weapons and
vehicles to fight the rebels.

Mali vies with Tanzania as Africa’s third-
largest producer of gold, with AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. (AU) and Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) among the companies operating in the country. It
ranks 175th out of 187 nations on the UN Human Development Index, which
measures indicators including literacy,
income and gender equality.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at
rruitenberg@bloomberg.net

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BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies
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58 Responses to FRENCH DEFENSE MINISTRY SAY “TROOPS FROM NIGERIA AND CHAD MOVING INTO GAO TO STABILIZE THE SITUATION” ; TOGOLESE TROOPS DEPLOY TO SAN IN CENTRAL MALI

  1. beegeagle says:

    DEFENSE OFFICIALS TRY TO RUSH AFRICAN TROOPS TO MALI

    VOA NEWS
    (26 Jan)

    Defense officials from the West African
    regional body ECOWAS met in Abidjan on
    Saturday to discuss options for expediting the deployment of more African troops to Mali. Though some African troops have already arrived, officials acknowledge that they require training and funding.

    Ivory Coast Defense Minister Paul Koffi
    Koffi said Saturday that nearly 1,000
    African troops were already in Mali, not
    just in the capital Bamako but ”throughout the entire country.” ECOWAS has been discussing plans to
    send roughly 3,000 troops to the
    landlocked country ever since Islamists
    took over its northern half following a
    coup last March. The U.N. Security Council in December approved an ECOWAS deployment for September of this year, but deployment plans were fast-tracked after the Islamists made a push toward Bamako earlier this month, prompting French forces to intervene.

    The French have so far taken the lead on
    the military intervention, with some
    assistance from Mali’s army. But French
    leaders have stressed that African forces
    will need to take the lead. Koffi Koffi said ECOWAS officials were determined to make that happen as soon as possible.

    He says ”What is at stake here is crucial,
    for it involves confirming the various
    elements that were identified but also,
    and more especially, to make the
    commitment that in the shortest time
    possible men will be deployed on the ground.”

    He says ”Following that we should also clearly identify needs, particularly logistical support, and to see to what extent such logistical support can
    be deployed on the ground.”

    Also present at Saturday’s meeting was
    Nigerian General, Shehu Usman
    Abdulkadir, who was named commander
    of the African intervention force during a
    meeting of ECOWAS heads of state one
    week ago. Abdulkadir told reporters he believed the buildup of troops was progressing satisfactorily, though he declined to say when they would all arrive.

    “I can’t tell you when the deadline will be but I want to assure the international community that the buildup has continued and some
    troops from troop-contributing countries
    have been deployed,” he said.

    He also said he did not believe there
    would be trouble coordinating the African troops, which will come from a mix of English speaking and French speaking countries. “It’s very wonderful. It’s encouraging. Right now the Burkinabes are operating on the same axis as the French. So the issue of difference is not there. We have a common problem and we’re going to
    approach it with the professionalism that the military is known for,”Abdulkadir stated.

    • Bigbrovar says:

      According to reports from Al jazeera’s journalist embedded with the French and Malian army offensive. The French are using the Malian army as front to calm nerves of people who might be concerned about foreigners invading their country. Hence the French allow the Malian army “take” the already deserted town while their troops stay in the background. And then the African troops move in to stabilize and mop up. This explains the use of Burkinabes in holding down an important bridge and the use of Nigerians and chadians in stabilizing Gao… The advantage of this strategy is on the face of it boost the reputation of the Malian army and also raises moral.. We should remember that the original plan of the invasion was to use Malian forces at the core while the coalition forces provide needed support the French seem to be following up with this plan.

  2. beegeagle says:

    The French are being unduly wary. The fact is that they have been wholeheartedly welcomed as interlopers.

    Twice this weekend, I saw clips on CCTV in which locals dismissed charges of outrages by Malian troops as a calculated attempt at halting the galloping march of the Franco-Malian alliance, dismissing such allegations as spurious and expressing wholehearted support for the intervention.

    Well, compare that to our own upcountry towns where, at the sight of any foreign media crew, they would cook up non-existent events to blackmail the JSTF.

    Unknown to some of those mischief makers upcountry, Nigerian and Chadian troops were deploying in the HEART of the conflict and the biggest city of northern Mali at the time when, true to self-loathing antecedents and and established trend of blatant lies ensconced in crude politicking, they were writing this

    http://sundaytrust.com.ng/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=12770:nigerian-soldiers-left-in-bamako-chad-burkina-faso-others-moved-to-battle-front&catid=41:latest-news&Itemid=26

    Well, who are the phools now? Backblast
    If the Trust Group were not so messed up, someone would have told them that it is strange to read that comparatively inexperienced troops from Burkina Faso and Togo have deployed in central Mali while Nigeria are in Bamako. They went so far as to quote a shifty “Guardian” whereas balanced outsiders know better.

    Most of the training institutions are upcountry. So is the insurgency. Somehow, our upcountry journalists prefer to see the Army through the eyes of a foreign newspaper. Regardless, the NA are doing just what is needed in Mali right here in Nigeria – combat engineering, FIBUA and CBQ and have been in battles non-stop since 1990.

    “TIME” had this to say

    http://beegeagle.wordpress.com/2013/01/23/going-into-mali-nigerian-and-chadian-troops-stand-out-from-their-african-peers-time-magazine/

    The truth is constant. Our upcountry media caught in their booby-traps yet again. Perhaps you now know why we love to expose their antics.

    • peccavi says:

      I’m not sure Nigerian troops are being deployed to Gao, I’ve been checking these reports and journalists are using Nigerians and Nigeriens interchangeably. I suspect it is Niger and Chad that have been deployed as they have been together on that axis for some time and all the reports refer to the Chadian/ Nigerien concentrations and then throw Nigerians in there as well. Well lets see what the official word is

  3. beegeagle says:

    In reality, Peccavi, it is seriously looking like the NIGERIANS are in. Gao was always the city of interest for them and the COAS made this clear when he stated last week that they were going to Mali to advance the offensive against BH interests.

    Against the backdrop of the fact that Burkinabe and Togolese troops have been deployed in central Mali and the VOA report above in which the Ivorian Foreign Minister states that AFISMA troops have deployed across the entire country, my doubts were all but cleared.

    First, I used a VOA report and I bore in mind the fact that some people use “Nigerian” and “Nigerien” interchangeably. Even as I wondered if the VOA could have made a mistake, theu said TROOPS FROM NIGERIA AND CHAD…not “Nigerien or Nigerian and Chadian troops.”

    To be sure, I went in search of a report written by someone in France who would understand the French language just in case the emailed communique by the FRENCH DEFENCE MINISTRY was written in their language.

    The Bloomberg reporter above is French and works in Paris. She AGAIN said “TROOPS FROM NIGERIA AND CHAD”, consistency which juxtaposed against the VOA Report, suggests that both BLOOMBERG and VOA NEWS quoted the same emailed press statement by the French Defense Ministry. It is noteworthy that BLOOMBERG also used “TROOPS FROM NIGERIA AND CHAD” and not the lacuna that is “Nigerian or Nigerien and Chadian troops.”

    I doubt that the French Defense Ministry, BLOOMBERG and VOA all do not know the difference between Niger and Nigeria and the emphasis on COUNTRY rather than the usual emphasis on the nationality of the troops suggests that specificity was the core consideration in the wording of their statement.

    Gao was always the city which the NA had in their sights based on BH activity in that city – both at the time when it fell to rebels and now that it hosts the BH leader. Personally, I have always stated that the NA can ignore everywhere in Mali but not Gao. That ought to have been made clear by the deployment of NAF jets to Niamey, as close as possible to Gao.

    Now the urban warfare phase is about to commence.With Freetown, Monrovia,Maiduguri, Damaturu, Kano and N’djamena in mind, the terrorists have in Nigerian and Chadian troops, very formidable opponents who know the business of urban warfare and are not afraid to sustain casualties.

    Expect the NAF to move A-Jets and Hind attack helics into Gao by or before midweek.

    • ocelot2006 says:

      Oga Beeg, I think Peccavi may right, hence my post about the Nigeriene+Chadian troops to the east, and question about the Nigerian military’s role. We all know that our troops were deployed to Bamako with NAF’s team and regiment to Niger. Unless we were able to deploy troops via Niger Republic, I think the Chadians+Nigerienes are actually the ones deployed to Goa.

      • originalpato says:

        Oga Oceloot2006, Beeg might be right it’s possible to mix up Nigerian and Nigerien but not to confuse Nigeria with Niger, even with the French intonation.

      • ocelot2006 says:

        Well, I may be wrong as the AFISMA commander won’t want to keep such experinced soldiers idle. But again keep in mind that no Nigerian ground troops (‘xcept NAF regiment unit) were deployed to Niger like the Chadians. Maybe our combat vehicles and armour are yet to arrive Mali.

  4. freeegulf says:

    why dont we chart our own route? we should not deploy with other african forces on our tail or guarding our flanks. due to doctrinal differences, they would be unreliable
    we had this same headache during the ecomog days. in liberia, the ghanians wouldnt take operational orders from nigerian officers, they would have to consult with accra first. the guineans wouldnt even stay put on their agreed position whenever they face a probing attack from taylor’s forces.
    sierra leone wasnt much different from the liberian operational debacle. though it was much simpler, since there where only two ecomog contingents doing the fighting; nigeria and guinea.
    the guinean style of fighting was so basic that even nigerian troops found themselves on the firing line whenever the guineans start shooting their rocket launchers.
    if we garrison a town, then fighting patrol should be conducted thoroughly. and we shouldnt play second fiddle to the french. so i do not see a reason why we should stay put in positional warfare after the french have done the hard bits of chasing the terrorists from the very same town

  5. camouflage1984 says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/28/world/africa/france-mali-conflict.html?_r=0

    “The taking of control of Gao, which has between 50,000 and 60,000 inhabitants, by Malian, Chadian and Nigerian soldiers is under way,” Colonel Burkhard said”.

  6. Obix says:

    This is still confusing. Al Jazeera quoted “troops from Chad and Niger” !!! http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2013/01/2013126165220731532.html

    • beegeagle says:

      You seriously cannot be confused, Obix. Al Ja wetin? How many troops do Qatar have in Mali? The French and American roles in Mali even preceded AFISMA. The French defence spokesman, NY Times, VOA, Bloomberg all say IN and do not even mention Niger!

      Everyone is talking about the overland crossing which was planned before the link bridge got blown up whereas it actually seems as if Chadian and Nigerian troops were flown into Gao right after the airport was seized.

      Colonel Buckhard says troops from Mali, Chad and Nigeria in and the significance of that is not lost on anyone. Mali own the turf and know it best while the troops from Chad and Nigeria are the most ready by way of skills and battle-hardiness for the next phase – attrition and daily gun battles. That was why they were brought in swiftly to preempt the loose cannons inside the city who might want to cause trouble – mopping up!

  7. adickmish says:

    I will conclude that we are on a peace mission in Mali. Correct me if i am wrong, there will be NO MALI if not for the intervention of France. After two weeks of offensive from France, little is been heard of the role of African troops in Mali and due to logistics problems, we find it difficult to mobilize our troops. France is doing all the dirty work and killing all the rebels while African troops look after the citizens in Mali (peace mission). How will they tell the story when the war is over ( I trust BBC,CNN, etc). They will crucify African soldiers with their right-ups. It got me thinking, is the Ghanaian Journalist right (AFUA) or she is a Prophet? I am confused.

    • originalpato says:

      You are wrong Oga Adickmish. What the French are accomplishing are the easiest tasks which is seizing territory. It’s one thing to seize territory but another matter entirely to hold it. The next phase in this conflict is the insurgency phase where the Jihadist blend in with the local populace and start “peppering” African troops with IEDs (Maiduguri & Yobe style) of which even the Chadians and Nigeriens have no experience in combating it.

    • beegeagle says:

      You are wrong, Adickmish.

      Even that BBC you quoted were saying today that the rush is about dislodging the militants before the HARDER next phase – squaring off against them in the desert and mountains and that is why they want the Africans in ASAP.

      Peccavi and yours truly always said that the task of dislodging these chaps from the strongholds doe not necessarily need so many troops as it needs firepower. Thereafter, the hard task of the job – the gruelling daily gunfights, IED attacks, ambushes and desert runarounds would commence which is where the tough shall show themselves true.

      The fact that Boko Haram do not hold territory in Nigeria speaks to two things. It is futile because they would easily get driven out by the overwhelmingly superior firepower of the Nigerian military. This is the precise reason why the Niger Delta militants also never staked out territory.

      The other part of it is that classic hit-and-run guerrilla warfare is their best chance of sustaining an insurrection. That means they are harder to beat that way. That is also why it is clear that the current phase is easier than the next. That would take a human toll which may not be agreeable to the French public.

      Checklist

      – after the Allies and the Northern Alliance kicked out the Taliban from Afghan cities under their control, they switched to classic guerrilla tactics – gnawing at their enemy’s resources and resolve through IED and suicide attacks,raids and ambushes. That is how come the Afghan insurgency has survived to this day. Holding territory, they got swept out in one month way back in 2001

      – in 2003, a blitzkrieg dislodged Saddam Hussein’s regime and forces in Iraq. His loyalists switched to guerrilla warfare and sustained the onslaught until the Allies pulled out.

      – the list is endless really. The next phase of the campaign which is precisely where Niger, Mali, Nigeria and Chad are expected to show forth strongly is DECIDEDLY more difficult. I mean, you might not even know where to find the enemy unlike when he held territory and any moderately tenacious army with superior would probably prevail.

      In this phase, you might win the battles. In the next, you have to win the war.
      Uprooted insurgents, having lost territory, switch to BH-style attrition which is more difficult to handle. ETA in Spain since 1959, ANC for 30 odd years in South Africa, in Algeria since 1992,Naxalite rebels in India since 1967..that is how they have all managed to remain in business for so long.

      :) BTW, how come you sound ever so dispirited. O’boy, try chop liver o

      • adickmish says:

        I get the picture better now my Oga. i am thousands of miles away from home. Thank God it is France that intervened, if na UK…….., my colleagues will eat me raw. Always proud to be a Nigerian.

      • giles says:

        oga beeg, de hit and run situation might not work cus since de malian c d french forces and an intervencion rather dan an inverding force den i tink d malians wil cooperate,inother words d islamist will find it hard 2 mingle with d pple…And dis malian crisis is diff frm dat of de afgantans.

  8. freeegulf says:

    we shouldnt be fighting positional warfare o. especially after the french have been busy using special forces to direct air strikes. now is not yet time for trench warfare, this is still the maneuovre phase of the conflict, its not time for shovel.
    now the FG will take NAF acquisition very serious. ground attack jets re top prerequisite now. i wonder why NAF did not deploy their mb-339s with ecm capabilities. more alphas will be needed

  9. Henry says:

    You are wrong OGA adickmish, the french no doubt, have done/ are doing a great job in mali. The french air strikes have really critical in disseminating enemy morale. In many cases the enemy picks up his bag and flees into the desert. Take Gao for instance, the french did not have to fire a bullet in that city and the place is liberated.

    This expedition in mali would likely pan out into a deadly insurgency, hit and run tactics which the army in nigeria has known for the past 2years right here in nigeria. That is where the real fighting lies.

    Now here is what you have to know about the intervention in mali.
    AFISMA lead intervention in mali was slated to begin in september of 2013, this is january of 2013. Unlike france which is a world military heavy weight deploying to mali under that short notice was always going to be a problem for us(AFISMA). Even the french had problems transporting logistics to mali, they had to get help from England( 2 C-17’s globemaster), canada another (2 C-17’s), qatar 2 C-17’s and the united states who also provided C-17’s and C-130’s. Now this is for france that is supposed to be a world power. Another thing on the side of the french was the fact they have a permanent air-base in in chad stationed where there Mirage 2000 jets flew from, while there rafeale jets flew from france initially but are now stationed in bamako mali. They(french) also had troops stationed in ivory coast.

    Secondly, there was the issue of finance!!! Who was going to pay. The bill for the military intervention in mali was/ is put at half a billion dollars with 3,300 african troops, now the number has been revised upwards to 6000 AFISMA troops, excluding the 2000 chadian troops. Who was/ is going to pay.

    Thirdly, Training, counter terrorism training, unlike nigeria which had had counter terrorism training and experience over the past 2years, no other african country was prepared. You had to train them in counter terrorism. Remember how nigerian army personnel flunked soo much at the beginning of the insurgency in the north…….. Now imagine the casualties troops would have incurred in mali, had they not been adequately trained.

    We cannot overlook these issues, they are critical. We cannot just rush into war without first having a clear military gameplan. The french have had experience with islamist in afghanistan but see how they failed in their botched attempt to rescue a french DESG agent in somalia.

    Be that as it may, the troops are in mali. As we type there are 1000 AFISMA troops in mali ready to go into battle. Logistics have been coming in, despite the fact that there are lingering challenges, nigerian troops are well kitted out with made in nigeria gear, they’ve got experience from battling insurgency and are rearing to go. Two upgraded alpha jets have been deeployed to naimey, we’ve seen video and picture evidenceBe that as it may, the troops are in mali. As we type there are 1000 AFISMA troops in mali ready to go into battle. Logistics have been coming in, despite the fact that there are lingering challenges, nigerian troops are well kitted out with made in nigeria gear, they’ve got experience from Be that as it may, the troops are in mali. As we type there are 1000 AFISMA troops in mali ready to go into battle. Logistics have been coming in, despite the fact that there are lingering challenges, nigerian troops are well kitted out with made in nigeria gear, they’ve got experience from battling insurgency and are rearing to go. Two upgraded alpha jets have been deeployed to naimey, we’ve seen video and picture evidenceBe that as it may, the troops are in mali. As we type there are 1000 AFISMA troops in mali ready to go into battle. Logistics have been coming in, despite the fact that there are lingering challenges, nigerian troops are well kitted out with made in nigeria gear, they’ve got experience from battli

  10. Henry says:

    The report clearly states nigeria. I do no believe you can mistake niger for nigeria and vice versa. So we have chadians, nigerians deployinThe report clearly states nigeria. I do no believe you can mistake niger for nigeria and vice versa. So we have chadians, nigerians deployinThe report clearly states nigeria. I do no believe you can mistake niger for nigeria and vice versa. So we have chadians, nigerians deployinThe report clearly states nigeria. I do no believe you can mistake niger for nigeria and vice versa. So we have chadians, nigerians deploying to Goa.

  11. beegeagle says:

    Obix, I doubt that you read this in the NEW YORK TIMES report

    QUOTE

    ” The French Defense Ministry spokesman, Col. Thierry Burkhard, said Sunday morning on Europe 1 radio that troops from Mali, Nigeria and Chad were now deploying in Gao after French special forces took the city’s airport and a strategic bridge on Saturday.

    “The taking of control of Gao, which has
    between 50,000 and 60,000 inhabitants,
    by Malian, Chadian and Nigerian soldiers
    is under way,” Colonel Burkhard said. ”

    end of quote

    NIGERIA, Chad and Niger he said TODAY..CONFIRMING what the emailed communique quoted by VOA and BLOOMBERG stated, steering clear of the Nigerien/Nigerian lacuna by again saying TROOPS from Mali, Chad and Nigeria.

    I doubt that the French defence spokesman does not know who is in Gao or that he also does not know the difference between NIGERIA and Niger.

    Gentlemen, our boys are in. Goodluck to them as always. Tis a just war against the forces of darkness who seek to enthrone a reign of terror in our lands

  12. beegeagle says:

    That said, the French have done noble by decimating the combat assets of the terrorists and sending them into disarray while AFISMA deploy in the face of a stampede. The long-range strikes have beem a masterstroke and an eye opener for sleeping giants such as Nigeria who still do not know that the projection of power is most cheaply and effectively accomplished by deep strike jets. We must be able to strike at targets direct from home soil, not wait to deploy on hostile territory before we do so. Buy jets which cannot endure a bombing run between Kaduna and Sokoto or Lagos and Yenagoa is almost an act of sabotage in itself. Never mind the need to hit at enemies in faraway hideouts.

    The FG owe the NAF Su-27/Su-30 jets and they need to quit the pussyfooting without further delay.

  13. peccavi says:

    Op Sevral Sitrep as of 26/01/2013

    SITUATION FRIENDLY FORCES
    French
    TIMBUKTU has been captured unopposed, en withdrew without contesting
    Fr Forces reported to have secured outskirts of TIMBUKTU. Task force allegedly a battle group consisted of 21 RIMa Coy, 3RPIMa Coy, 2 x Gazelles, 2 x Puma. Indirect fire support seems to have also been provided by organic 120mm although not sure if used
    Fr MoD denies bombing Iyad Ag Agalys house in KIDAL states 20 strikes have taken place over the past 36 hours

    Mali
    Chadian, Nigerien and MNA are garrisoning GAO airport
    MNA in control of GAO
    MNA forces reported to be patrolling through TIMBUKTU, performing house to house checks. Civilian population welcoming and jubilant
    Widespread looting reported in GAO
    Reported that there are 220, 000 internally displaced persons and 150,000 refugees

    AFISMA
    Nigeria: 190 troops in country. Role/ type unknown, based in BAMAKO

    SITUATION ENEMY FORCES
    En forces alleged by MNLA sources to have withdrawn to the TIDMANE and TIGHARGHAR mountains in the KIDAL region
    En forces withdrew from TIMBUKTU without fighting

    ANALYSIS
    A tale of 2 cities and 3 wars: TIMBUKTU appears to have all but fallen, the en withdrew without much of a fight, it appears their rearguard positions were destroyed by Mirage and Rafale attacks, Fr forces cut off the city and the MNA entered. So far so good.
    As predicted the enemy would not have stood and fought, maybe if they hadn’t been punished with air strikes they would have made it a bit more lively but by all accounts there was still heavy resistance around GAO, DIABALY and so on. There are several things interesting about these towns, they are all on the River Niger with wooded and green areas around them, ideal for close quarter fighting where the superior firepower of the Fr could be negated if they were drawn in close. However this did not happen to the extent it could have, despite quite a few local people joining the militants either for money or conviction. The question is how many of these people were killed and how many deserted and how many fell back to the KIDAL region?
    Because the KIDAL battle will have a different complexion (pardon the pun) as we move away from the dark skinned tribes to the Taureg heartlands (Azawad proper) we can expect less local enthusiasm, more resistance and unfortunately more excesses by the MNA. So the question is whether they will choose to contest KIDAL or pull back?
    My guess is nothing more than a token resistance and then pull back to begin and Iraq/ Afghanistan type insurgency. Which is good right because the French were active in Afghanistan and Iraq has been analysed to death?
    Well no. Wrong on several counts the advantage is to the enemy. In Afghanistan and Iraq no one had seen the west fight an insurgency. The learning curve for Iraqi insurgents was exponential, (aided by the internet, Iran and Gulf money) and they learnt quite quickly how to defeat western vehicles and counter western tactics. Iraq was at best an operational stalemate and a strategic defeat. In Iraq the enemy benefitted from a confused, incompetent and incoherent strategy and occupation and all the support I mentioned above. In Afghanistan the enemy benefitted from neglect. The 3 years after the invasion the Taliban were irrelevant and defeated and would never have regenerated if again there was a plan and strategy in place. Now the French/ AFISMA seem to have sensible strategy for the war fighting phase but in a vast undeveloped country stabilisation and counter insurgency will be a nightmare.
    A successful insurgency needs a safe haven, a source of funds, a source of weapons, and freedom of movement. The enemy has all of this in the remote KIDAL region with undeveloped swathes of Niger, Mauritania and Algeria abutting it, more than enough weapons and funds saved up from smuggling. They also have the advantage of having studied western tactics and procedures over the past 12 years, with a goodly number of veterans of various conflicts in their midst. They will not need an operational pause to launch into the next phase, they will have been training and preparing for this for over a year and once they do the initiative will shortly pass to them. The French are aware of this and are reinforcing everyday as well as urging AFISMA to hurry up and deploy.
    The nature of the insurgency will be interesting but the question is really how long before the Islamist insurgency becomes a popular one? Heavy handed treatment of civilians, failure to effect a proper reconciliation package will lead to this but hopefully the lessons of Niger can be taken on board as well as the lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan. Elections don’t mean democracy so the priority should not b to hold immediate elections but to get as many Tauregs as possible back into the fold, hold a Truth and Reconciliation hearing so as to get atonement but also bring people in from the fold. Without denigrating the efforts of the guys on the ground this is the easy part

    Garrison duty: it can be seen that Fr forces are following the predicted pattern of pushing though and leaving African forces to do the unglamorous but important job of garrisoning captured towns and lines of communications. So far it is interesting that all garrison troops have been from Francophone states with exceptionally close relationships with France. It would be interesting to know the specific units involved, their commanders and where they were trained. Please note that I am not implying anything sinister just that the French are past masters of exploiting their personal, cultural and linguistic relationships and seem to have done so in this case. Regular follower of the blog might recall sometime last year there were comments about movements of French and US aircraft and assets into the region, one wonders if around the same time these Chadians and Nigeriens did not begin a training and refitting package. All in all good strategic foresight from the French. But I digress, we are still waiting to see when Nigerian forces will get involved, unless Nigeria is husbanding its strength for the post conflict stage. The delay in deployment could be down to the simple stress of getting a unit ready for foreign tasking or it could be symptomatic of other things, but in the absence of clear strong leadership in BAMAKO someone has to take charge, for obvious reasons this cannot be a French person so better a Nigerian general who like in Sierra Leone can get a grip, take Sanongo and his boys out of the game start training a new Malian army and then replace those on the front line with the newly trained ones. Garrison duty is generally boring, mind numbing and is an exercise in discipline more than skill.

  14. jimmy says:

    GOD BE WITH OUR BOYS FOR THE FIRST TIME I GOT MISTY EYED . The real war has just started GAO first then KIDAL SECOND. Wow please keep our boys safe and GOD please let us capture SHEKAU alive. Nigerians are in GAO. Boko Haram were responsible for over running GAO it would be highly irresponsible for Nigerian Military INTELLIGENCE not to advocate for our forces to be anywhere else. Further more it is very important we capture Nigerian BOKO HARAM that are in MALI Alive.

  15. ocelot2006 says:

    Guys, read peccavi’s current SITREP. Nigerian troops are not in GAO, but are still stationed in Bamako.

    • Somoric says:

      Ocelot2006, Peccavi no dey ground either o! In the fog of water, many things do happen. Its clear that Nigerians are clearly playing a key role now and for Phase 2 of operations especially our special forces. Mopping up no easy o! That na IED, Mines plus hit & run attacks wahala. The french know that its the Nigerians that have experienced “boots” on the ground. Moreover, its clear that the French are providing key support to MNA in ensuring that the pride of the Malian institution is not decimated by the sight of ‘alien’ soldiers reclaming the land from the invading militants. Moreover, its on Beegeagle blog u dey get all dis yarn! Gist dey land dormot o!

      • beegeagle says:

        Precisely, Oga Somoric.

        As soon as I read that, I thought a G222 laden with Army, Navy and Airforce SF chaps plus NAF Regiment troops. Flown in to further secure the airport and relieve the French SF in the field. Then, a C130 with NA infantry, K9 teamsters and combat engineers. In a snap, we have a company of SF and core COIN-specialist troops for FIBUA.

        For another two days, they would then concentrate on flying in equipment and thereafter airlift a company of troops every day other into Gao.

        Even now, I am wondering if the airlift to Mali was not slowed down because the NA would rather fly the troops staright into Gao, avoiding the necessity of travelling overland or catching yet another flight from Bamako.

        With the current state of diassary among the ranks of the terrorists who are probably now trying to identify fresh sites for encampment elsewhere, this is the ideal time for the NA to move overland into Niamey preparatory to the planned Niger-Chad crossing into Gao.

        Yesterday, I suggested the following heavy equipment

        – six Panhard VBL scout cars
        – twelve Otokar Cobra APCs
        – six BTR-60 APC
        – twelve 4WD-mounted 106RRs
        – eight 105mm howitzers
        – eighteen Panhard AML 90s
        – fifty uparmored Pinzgauer gun trucks

        On one day, I would move a third of those systems into Niger from Illela border through to Birnin Konni in Niger and on ro Niamey. I mean, these systems are armed in themselves and the troops would travel expecting a possible fight.

        For escort duty,I would see off those troops with five 4WD trucks laden with fifty troops, with half of them bearing only APILAS anti-tank weapons and RPGs and GPMGs. So whether a wannabe ambush party arrives by technicals or on foot, we have quick reaction troops with enough firepower to engage them while the armoured vehicles prepare to swing into action a little while thereafter.

        Honestly, we need to start moving our gear quickly. When we have the three additional C130s which are expected to become operational in February, everyone knows how much a mixed pool of four Hercules and two G222s can move into the theatre in one day.

        Until that airborne vista manifests, we have to fashion out an earth-bound plan for the movement of materiel

    • beegeagle says:

      By his own admission, Ocelot2006, he uses an incisive military eye to compile the reports from open source information. He did not say that the sitreps amount to gospel truth. Perhaps, that was as far as his own research led him, in-depth as it is. For example, I did not see the deployment of Togolese troops to San in the report either.

      By the same token, BLOOMBERG and VOA quoting a press release emailed to them by the French Defence Ministry on Saturday, say troops from Nigeria and Chad are in Gao.

      A day later, the French defence spokesman Colonel Burkhard speaking on EUROPE 1 and quoted by the New York Times, said troops from Mali, Nigeria and Chad are taking up positions in Gao.

      The questions to be asked are

      – Is it possible that the VOA, BLOOMBERG and the NEW YORK TIMES over the course of two days and avoiding the Nigerien/Nigerian lacuna for purposes of clarity, opted to name the countries from which troops had arrived as Nigeria and Chad merely by chance OR does the consistent “TROOPS FROM NIGERIA AND CHAD” used in that same precise wording by the VOA and BLOOMBERG indicate they they both received and quoted the same press release which emanated from the French Ministry? Were the French Defense Ministry unaware that Nigeria and Niger are two different countries as well?

      – I DOUBT that the French defence spokesman, 24 hours later, would also come up to repeat the ‘mistake’ by going further to say “TROOPS FROM MALI, NIGERIA AND CHAD”. I am sure that their sudden aversion for falling into the confusing Nigerian/Nigerien trap by naming the countries specifically amounts to more than mere coincidence.

      It is possible for many to confuse Nigerien and Nigerian. Not so NIGER and NIGERIA. With a Nigerian in command of AFISMA, it is inconceivable that he deployed Burkinabe and Togolese troops but forgot to deploy Senegalese and Nigerian troops. Not even to Gao, the strategic objective for Nigeria in all of this. Even the Ivorian Foreign Minister says AFISMA troops have deployed everywhere around the country. Are Nigeria not part of AFISMA?

      If that is not getting wide coverage, it would not be anything new. Even when French, Senegalese and Nigerian went in on bilateral bases ahead of AFISMA and with the Malian Army operations chief reporting the arrival of the African forces, he was scarcely reported by the usual suspects who dismissively brushed aside African interest, knowing how useless African journalists tend to be at times like this.

      The haze shall be lifted in the days ahead. But I have always been SURE that for the Nigerian military, being in Mali means being INSIDE Gao. No better time with an airport in friendly hands and uprooted terrorists.

      With the French keen on African military interposition and the NAF being the only air contingent on the AFISMA side, being in Gao with troops on the ground and airframes in the airport seems to be fait accompli.

      Even the Malians are currently airlifting hundreds of gendarmes into Gao to complement COIN operations – same way MOPOL do in Nigeria. So what is there to stop the Nigerians entering a Gao which fell without a noteworthy skirmish at a time when AFISMA are digging in for the war of attrition to come?

      • peccavi says:

        As Oga Beeg has said I compile all of this from open source, I am not saying Naija are not in Gao, its just that I can’t find verifiable sources, I’ve read the original text of the French DM and it comes across as Nigeriens in French and then translates as Nigerians in English. They could be there Its a summary nothing more, but what I definitely know is that a Naija Coy is in Bamako.
        allt he photos I’ve seen have been Chadians in Gao, however bear in mind that the NAF contingent plus SF is based in Niamey. Gao airport is ideal for Alphajets, supporting ops up to and around Kidal.
        But I don’t want to speculate

      • eyimola says:

        Ive seen quite a lot of pictures from Gao. The Airport is currently secured by Chadian troops.

  16. bigbrovar says:

    Any update on the status of Hardware and materials deployed by Nigerian forces.. by now we should be seeing the Pinzgauers, Otokar Cobra and the likes. Anyone has infor on whether this has been deployed?

  17. ocelot2006 says:

    Well, Marshal Beeg may be right. It makes no sense if the less experienced Togolese (no offence intended) are deployed while West Africa’s most experienced and combat-hardened force (Nigerian units) are still awaiting deployment orders in Bamako. Maybe Nigerian units were airlifted using either NAF C-130/G-222 or French C-160 Transalls and Puma helos. The coming days will shed more light.

  18. giles says:

    hw i wich dat our igirigi APC is ready

  19. G8T Nigeria says:

    Y do we miss the vital key to promote strenght in Africa, we have bn having meeting upon meeting. Whereas nations go to war within days. We shd be seeing AFISMA commander on news not french def minister. D basic truth abt d french intervention is as follows.
    1. Eliminate terrorist elements Within d west african corridor.
    2. Prove Military strenght to other nations
    3. Sustain element of colonialism
    4. Cordinate african forces who may not have d light to glorify themselves
    5. Test dormant military hardware

    From what we hear,”french and Malian Forces” I begin to wonder if we may hear anything difft in d near future, its so rampant dat everybody wonders what african forces are doing. The commander AFISMA shd organise a conference or info centre where he wud brief d world on d progress of the ops evn if d french forces re involved. When d whole world sees dis, den elements of africanism sets in d. Ops. Dis will not happen for sure bcos d game for glory is on.

    • beegeagle says:

      There is no altruism in diplomacy, G8T. France came in at a time when Mali would have accepted help from anyone and anywhere. The fact they possessed the tools with which to advance a counteroffensive possibly served to drive them inexorably into Malian arms.

      Evidently, there has to be an element of vainglory entailed in the French exertion. Diplomatically, the French sphere of influence is shrinking on account of want-away French-speaking republics and former colonies alike. Observe the growing dalliance with the Anglophone and the Commonwealth, an organisation which is similarly caught up in the throes of a crisis of relevance regardless. Countries such as Cameroon, Rwanda and Burundi come to mind.

      France’s wielding of the big stick in Mali could well be an attempt to buff its image as the Pater Noster for her ex-colonies. However, it would be a lie not to admit that across the Sahel, French nationals have been the principal targets of kidnappers loyal to or allied with AQIM – from Algeria to Mali, Mauritania to Niger..and even in the Far North of Nigeria, the story is the same. At some point therefore, this French involvement is about the advancement of their enlightened self-interest.

      Regardless of French interests, it has served the designs of the Malians well in a rare convergence of normally contradictory paradigms.

      So for now, the principal protagonists in this offensive, Mali and France, are very satisfied with the outcome. To be sure, NOBODY can fathomably persuade the Malian government to break ranks with France at this time. It is a partnership which is serving them well and the people on the streets of Mali are screaming “Vive La France” wherever you turn. Whatever our views are, the people of Mali whose fight this is, have spoken out eloquently in favour of the French intervention. The voice of the people is the voice of God.

      At the time when Mali called for immediate help, no country in the world was as poised to respond as quickly and in a robust manner as the French have done..military airlift planes and fighter jets in Chad, armoured vehicles in Abidjan and troops in between.

      For years now on and off this board, some of us have been yelling for Nigeria to pay close attention to its needs. With their Rafale and Mirage jets, the French have done what Nigeria, despite all the warning signs, refused to do – get us Su-27/30 jets.

      Since 2008, crises have festered in our neighbourhood – Guinea, CIV and now, Mali. The end is nowhere in sight.

      Yet rather than do the needful, we keep on hoping for the improbable. We even lived in denial so much as to leave most of our military airlift assets grounded since “we have no threats to contend with”

      France are benefitting from our free choice of strategic myopia as the overriding ethos of our defence procurement policies. Fancy Nigeria loading up on F7s at a time when peers such as Egypt and Pakistan are planning to phase out theirs.

      The French are profitting where Nigeria chose to bury her head in the sand, resting on her F7 laurels at a time when she ought to have understood that her national security interests are tied into the stability of the wider region.

      Those who have been on this board for long enough would tell you that, like a dress rehearsal turned blockbuster movie, one has played out and replayed the inevitability of a deep strike capability capability for the NAF with this same Mali in view. We spoke about the inevitability of that capability if we really want to take up the hot pursuit option and degrade the offensive capacity of Malian terrorists who are allied to Nigerian terrorists and went as far as citing the 1986 strikes against PLO targets in Tunis carried out by Israeli F16s.

      Nobody listened. What we heard was what Cameroon have and what Togo do not have – like a people mired in under-achievement. Like a dream come alive, that picture which we had always painted and hoped that our NAF would prepare itself to fit into is precisely what the French Air Force are executing to the letter.

      MoD do not know what time it is while the NAF would tell the FG everytime and to the detriment of its own interests that “we have all that we need”. So why not fly from Sokoto and hit Gao or Kidal or are we too small to base expeditionary air operations at home?

      With their Su-27s, an Ethiopia positioned where Nigeria are today would attack Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu from Sokoto. Ditto the Algerians from Tamanrasset on home soil. Perhaps our aspirations for our NAF are set to low.

      After the F7 gaffe, we are still getting regaled with talk about JF17 Thunder which the Chinese jointly manufacture but have themselves not found worthy of inducting into service? A JF17 which is still constrained by its flight endurance indices?

      So blame not the French. Our lethargic disposition and ‘competing demands’ are more worthy of a follow-up than our national interest.

      After ECOMOG, one would have thought that a heavily armoured Su-25 Frogfoot jet would have been acquired to complement the Alpha Jet and reduce the exposure of our pilots to avoidable hazards. No dice.

      So why begrudge the French if they profit from a vacuum which we have wilfully chosen to leave unattended to?

      “Mugu fall, guyman chop..na so e be”

  20. beegeagle says:

    @Oga Eyimola.

    Yeah possibly so. I was only ventilating what my thoughts were as per the likely areas of immediate intervention by Nigerian troops coming into Gao are likely to be rather than making a definite statement of fact.

    I still think the NA should commence overland crossings which would quicken the deployment.

    Here’s what Togo have been doing..alternative ways and means to the attainment of objectives.

    News Report:

    SECOND BATCH OF TOGOLESE TROOPS DEPART FOR MALI BY ROAD

    The second contingent of 96 Togolese soldiers left Lomé on Tuesday by road to Bamako as part of the peacekeeping force of the International Mission to Support Mali (MISMA), official sources told PANA.

    The contingent left in pickups for the three-day journey to Bamako and would join the 100 colleagues already in the Malian capital. Official sources say that the number of Togolese soldiers to be deployed in Mali within the framework of MISMA will be 732.

    Several West African countries are also contributing troops to an international force to flush out jihadists who have seized northern Mali.

    Pana 23/01/2013

  21. Obix says:

    Marshal Beegs, I’ll definitely get less confused if our MoD can give press conferences with situation reports as it is done elsewhere! Different news agencies are giving different reports. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2013/0127/breaking5.html

    • eyimola says:

      This is one of the critical issues that the Defence Minister has to address. This soldiers are our troops. They are our brothers and sisters. The lack of clarity during troop deployment is completely unacceptable.

    • ocelot2006 says:

      Now I’m REALLY CONFUSED. There’re pics that obviously put French, Malian, and Chadian forces in GAO, but none that puts us there. I don’t know what AFISMA’s gameplan is for the Nigerian contingent. We don’t even know if our armour and vehicles have arrived, or even their composition. So i’ll just adopt the wait-and-see approach.

    • jimmy says:

      Well the IRISH TIMES is reputable as far as i am concerned they are reporting that CHADIAN ,Nigerian troops are helping to secure GAO , at this point it is inconceivable that all Nigerian trrops are based in BAMAKO , the PRESIDENT OF Ecowas i believe state that trops have been deployed all over Northern Mali, The Nigerian authorities have stated that all troops from Nigeria have been airlifted So I am going with the fact that for now until proven otherwise.
      Let us also remember this war is not over yet even with KIDAL still in ENEMY hands . The ENEMY HAS CHOSEN TO WITHDRAW MOSTLY rather than fight ( Timbuktu) with the borders closed in Algeria, Niger, Burkina Faso, Guinea , it is only Mauritania that is the outlet let us wait and see what happens.

  22. beegeagle says:

    Yeah Obix, I saw all of that while I was looking for the unexpected. That was what led to the subject-matter of this thread. Chad and Niger were always meant to cross overland into Gao even before the bridge was blown up and France and Mali have worked together from the get-go. The unique selling point of the Chadians and Nigerien troops was always the fact of being homers to the desert and having been taking on rebels in very similar terrain. That mastery arguably exceeds even what is available to the French and they seek to benefit maximally from same.

    What I was looking for was the destination of AFISMA troops and that was how I found this. I say again that I find it incomprehensible that the French Defence Ministry and the French defence spokesman do not not the difference between Niger and Nigeria.

    What you links have done is shed more light on something which has been glossed over – the Nigerien angle. It does not necessarily repudiate the information earlier provide by VOA, BLOOMBERG and the NEW YORK TIMES.

    So wait-and-see. Until I posted those links, nobody was even thinking along the lines of a Nigerian deployment in Gao.

    @Eyimola. Our military information management is again being called into question. The modern approach would have been to furnish Nigerians, the owners of the Nigerian Armed Forces, with details of day-to-day goings on in the theatre. It is just another front in the local War on Terror and is essential to preempt those malevolent ones in the media who have sold their souls for a mess of porridge.

    • Obix says:

      Beags, bearing in mind that the French defence spokesman gave the interview in french, it is very possible that one newsroom must have made that mistake while translating it to english, with the rest getting infected while doing their usual “copy and paste” job without acknowledging the source of information!

      • peccavi says:

        that was my take as well as the French articles all say Niger/ Nigerien yet the English ones say Niger/ Nigerian

  23. Henry says:

    Nigerian troops have not yet started combat operations in mali, this according to the chief of air staff, who said that at this very moment 300 NAF troops, fighter planes and transport planes have all been deployed to mali.

  24. Henry says:

    Kaduna
    The Chief of Air Staff, AM Alex Badeh, has said that 300 airforce personnel have been deployed to Mali to rid the West African country of rebels that have taken over the northern part of Mali.

    The Air Chief spoke to newsmen during the passing out parade and commissioning ceremony of the Direct Short Service Course 21/2012 Cadets of the 325 Ground Training Group at NAF Base in Kaduna at the weekend.

    He said Nigerian troops were deployed to Mali following the directive by the President to contribute troops to Mali because Nigeria is a member of ECOWAS.

    “It’s not a secret that the Nigerian Airforce is involved in Mali, the President directed that we should contribute 300 troops in addition to our war planes, and transport planes that we have in Mali.

    “The war has not actually begun on our side, having been briefed; but what we are doing now is setting out the concept of operations, I spoke with the Force Commander, Major General Shehu Usman Abdulkadir and he assured me that very soon the concept of operation will commence in earnest.

    “Nigeria is a member of ECOWAS and so they instructed that we also contribute troops to Mali, our planes are in Mali and our troops are also there, very soon the war will begin and our troops will move in to rid the state of the rebels in northern Mali”, he said.

    He emphasized that the significant performance in the on-going effort to flush-out rebels in Mali has earned the service the reputation of an effective and dependable force.

    Source is allafrica.com

  25. beegeagle says:

    Thanks, Henry.

    Here is what more we know about the NAF deployment

    – a Technical Team on ground in Mali in support of the country’s airforce. First men in on a bilateral basis

    – 300 airmen going

    – Two A-Jets, NAF 452 and NAF 455 in Niamey, Niger. Two more units of A-Jets from the 99 Air Weapons School at Kainji to complete the A-Jet quartet

    – Two Mi-35 attack helicopters in Mali

    – Ground troops from a unit of the NAF Regiment in Niger(56 NAF Regt). Tavor-wielding airmen, reportedly SF commandos, spotted at the point of departure in Port Harcourt.

    – NAF C130 Hercules and G222 leading the military airlift operations

  26. ocelot2006 says:

    Well, I guess our CAS has cleared the air on that. Nigerian troops are yet to be deployed in combat. ‘guess we’ll just have to wait till AFISMA comes up with a battle plan.

    But that said, 300 airmen? Correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s half a battalion. Are they members of the Regiment? Maybe the CAS was refering to the soldiers.

    • originalpato says:

      Oga Ocelot2006 when you add 300 men from NAF (for base protection, Search & Rescue, Foward Observers etc) to the 900 from the NA you get 1,200 men in total as stated from official sources. So what CAS has confirmed is that NAF is fully deployed in terms of personnel. As for the NA the confusion emanating from their end is amazing.

  27. beegeagle says:

    NAF Regiment are larger than a battalion-sized unit. When the JSTF mustered in 2011, 500 men of the Regiment were drafted for the task in Borno alone.

    Men of the Regiment also serve in Kaduna, Kano, Port Harcourt, Jos and elsewhere on CTCOIN operations. They used to have at least one organic paracommando-type SF company which were seen active for the first time at the Air Expo 2010. They also rappelled off Mi-35P attack helics during the Golden Jubilee of Independence P’rade in 2010.

    Those 300 chaps are airmen all – aircraft technicians and engineers, NAF Regiment personnel for sure and almost certainly, a platoon of the NAF’s new all-SF unit – the Quick Response Force. That is made all the more apparent by the fact that some Tavor rifle-wielding airmen boarded the G222 flight out of PHC two Thursdays ago.

  28. kenee2k says:

    Nigerian troops have been almost invisible as it concerns deployment. All operations have been preceded by French special forces, who have done most of the target acquisition, for the air force.

    It is has been special forces that have done possibly 95% of all the engagements so far, i would speculate rationally that if we have air assets in place then its quite possible our special forces are involved in target acquisitions as well. This would be one reason that we don’t see anything of them like ghosts they are heard of but rarely seen.

    Its after the targets have been neutralized that we then see the regular French and Malian troops take the victory bow and drive into town in a blaze of glory.

  29. freeegulf says:

    the islamists are not going to find it all rosy in d kidal region. they ‘ve got the tuareg separatist rebels to contend with. their plan now is to draw in the coalition forces into this difficult mountainous region and start their shoot and run tactics.
    there’s need for good discipline and to exploit the schism between the tuareg separatists and the islamists.
    it is a war that demands patience and good confict resolution between the bamako govt and the tuaregs in the north

  30. freeegulf says:

    I am glad that the Senegalese are also involved in this Mali ops. Outside of the Nigerian armed forces, they have the best trained and disciplined troops in West Africa…far better than what UN peacekeeping Charlie has to offer, and a mile ahead of the Guineans. They are decent soldiers with a head for small unit tactics and cohesion.

    The Senegalese troops should be the only contingent that NA should fight side by side with without undue worries about combat desertions or timidity in firefight. However, given their total troop numbers, they too are a bit casualty shy. On the bright side, their combat skills would compensate for any combat losses.

    We should stay far from other African contingents. Without trying to belittle them, it is fair to say that their attitude towards planning and operation is dismal and junior leadership is more or less absent. One would think with all the Staff College graduates,these armies should be doing ok.

    However, the reverse is the case. Any army where Captains can seize and hold power, even becoming rulers, while there are Colonels and Brigadiers in the said Army, leaves a lot to be imagined.

  31. kenee2k says:

    Just watched a report on France24 explaining that Chadian special forces entered Kidal two days ago and have the city under their control. I did say that i felt it was most probable that our special forces might already be deployed.

    There is a media war and Nigeria is deep in sleep while France controls the whole media operation and takes all the glory, we need to have our own media strategy to bolster our image and allow our troops to take the accolades where they are due. currently it’s just France, Viva la France and nothing else.

    Nigerian indeed African troops have not been accorded any competency in the input and delivery of this operation so far. What is being projected covertly and overtly is the reliance of African troops on France, essentially that we are a boy scout army. How insulting,

    • doziex says:

      Yeah bro, you are right on the money.

      It’s unfortunate that after the abysmal media performance by the NA in the ecomog wars, and even the niger delta, the NA press corps remains either a lazy, or unappreciated outfit.

      They document the brave efforts of the NA in pictures and video, and instead of putting them on youtube or to a friendly blog site like beegeagle’s blog, they just flush it down the toilet.

  32. kenee2k says:

    The possibility exists that they may not be as media savvy as we think,

    With vision we provides a bridge from the present to the future, context brings clarity and when that vision is articulated into a coordinated definitive set of processes with a clear outcome delivery we have a strategic vision.

    Currently we don’t seem to have one, I don’t want to believe that our military big wigs are not aware that media control, manipulation, covert and overt is part of the apparatus of war.

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