Nigerian ECOMOG artillerymen engage rebels using a battery of four 105mm field howitzers, October 1st 1990


French troops are backing the Malian
army’s counter-offensive against Islamist rebels who control the country’s north, President François Hollande confirmed Friday. Troops from Nigeria and Senegal are also h. reportedly taking part in the offensive.

The Malian army has launched a counter-
offensive against Islamist rebels in the town of Sevare with French military
backing, Malian military sources said
Friday. “Our offensive has started,” the
official said, on condition of anonymity. “The objective is to retake total control of the [central] town of Konna and to proceed from there,” he said, adding that “military planes from friendly countries” were being used in the attack.

Colonel Abdrahmane Baby, a military adviser to Mali’s Foreign Ministry,
confirmed that French troops were in
the country. Troops from Nigeria and
Senegal were also reportedly taking
part in the offensive.

Earlier in the day, French President François Hollande said that France
would heed Mali’s request for military
assistance to help counter an offensive by Islamist militants,specifying that any help given would be done within the framework of a UN Security Council resolution. “We are faced with a blatant
aggression that is threatening Mali’s
very existence,” Hollande said in a
New Year speech to diplomats and
journalists. “I have decided that France will respond, alongside our African
partners, to the request from the
Malian authorities. We will do it strictly within the framework of the United Nations Security Council resolution. We will be ready to stop the terrorists’ offensive if it continues,” Hollande said.

France has urged its citizens and non-
essential diplomatic staff to leave the
country. The fall of Konna Hollande’s remarks came after Mali, a former French colony, had called on Paris to intervene after Islamists wrested control of the northern town of Konna from the Malian army on Thursday in some of the worst fighting the country has seen since militants took control of the north nine months ago.

The fall of Konna, a strategic point 600 km (375 miles) northeast of the capital Bamako, was a major setback for government forces, which said Thursday that they were making headway against the alliance of al Qaeda-linked rebels.

The UN Security Council previously
convened emergency consultations in
New York and agreed on a statement
in which the members “express their
grave concern over the reported
military movements and attacks by terrorist and extremist groups in the
north of Mali, in particular their
capture of the city of Konna.

“This serious deterioration of the
situation threatens even more the
stability and integrity of Mali, and constitutes a direct threat to
international peace and security,” the
council said after the meeting, which
was requested by France.

It also repeated calls for the restoration of democracy in Mali and urged UN members “to provide assistance to the Malian Defence and Security Forces in order to reduce the threat posed by terrorist organisations and associated groups”.

Western and regional governments are keen to dislodge the Islamists from a desert zone of northern Mali larger than France, which they captured in April, amid concerns they may use it as a launch pad to stage attacks. Konna was the last buffer between the rebels and Mopti, about 50 km (30 miles) south, which is the main town in the region and is seen as the gateway to the country’s north.

After hours of gun battles, heavily
armed Islamist fighters paraded in
triumph through Konna’s centre,
saying they would push on to take
Mopti and its neighbouring town of
Sevare, residents said. “We took the barracks and we control
all of the town of Konna,” MUJWA
rebel group spokesman Oumar Ould
Hamaha told Reuters. “The soldiers
fled, abandoning their heavy weapons and armoured vehicles.”

Emergency decision

News of the fall of Konna sowed panic in Mopti and Sevare, the latter the site of a large military barracks and airport. The towns lie at the crossroads between Mali’s desert north and the greener, more populous south.“We have received the order to evacuate,” said the local head of a US aid agency. “We have already pulled all our personnel and material out of Mopti.”

Local residents and a Malian soldier
based in Sevare told Reuters that
military aircraft, including two cargo planes and four helicopters carrying Western soldiers and equipment, had landed at Sevare airport on Thursday night. The French Defense Ministry declined
to comment on the reports, and Mali government and military officials were not immediately available to comment.

While a UN-sanctioned intervention by African troops is unlikely before September, due to logistical constraints, world powers could decide to act sooner, a UN diplomat said. “If the offensive continues, I think there will be an emergency decision by the international community,” UN special envoy to the Sahel, Romano Prodi, said during a visit to Bamako on Thursday.

France outspoken

Former colonial power France has
been among the most outspoken
advocates of an African-led military
intervention. Many in Mali’s military
have also been keen to launch a
campaign to reverse their rout by the militants in April. The UN Security Council has approved
in principle the idea of an
international military intervention in the north, though it has urged African nations to step up detailed planning in consultation with the United Nations.

An army official had earlier said that soldiers had retaken Douentza, a town about 120 km east of Konna, which has been in the hands of Islamists since September. But residents and a rebel spokesman said Islamists had held their positions inside Douentza, exchanging fire with
government troops stationed just

The renewed fighting could derail hopes of a breakthrough at peace
talks between the Malian government, the rebels and separatist Tuaregs that were scheduled to start in Burkina Faso on Thursday but which have been
postponed until January 21.

Djibril Bassole, Burkina Faso’s foreign minister and regional mediator in the crisis, on Thursday called on the parties to respect a ceasefire deal agreed on December 4 and said the fighting posed a threat to talks. “The climate of confidence has been greatly degraded, and I am very worried that these talks will not bear fruit,” he told reporters in Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou.

Ansar Dine ends ceasefire Ansar Dine, one of the main rebel factions, last week ended its ceasefire because of the plan for military intervention.

Once an example of democracy and
development in turbulent West Africa,Mali was plunged into crisis by a March 2012 coup that allowed Tuareg rebels to seize the north, demanding an independent homeland. Their rebellion was later hijacked by their Islamist allies.

Bickering among Mali’s political elite over a roadmap to end the post-coup transition is causing paralysis and damaging efforts to unite the country with elections to choose a replacement for a caretaker government.

Thousands of people took to the
streets in Bamako on Wednesday
calling for an end to the political crisis, blocking the city’s two main bridges. The government responded on Thursday by shutting down schools in Bamako and Kati until further notice.


About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies
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  1. jimmy says:

    This is going to get very interesting brace yourself for an interesting, very interesting weekend for three towns Mopti, Sevare, and Konna.

  2. General sir my email address is pls send me an emil with your address so I can shre the link with you sir! I do not want anyone to deprive us of our glory!

  3. anas says:

    From all indications it is clear that the malian army r a bunch of cowards whom stand and defend their country against a rag tag militia . The french shuld immediately deploy their rafael jets to carryout some purnishing air strikes against the enemy positions b4 the main force moves into the theatre of combat . West africa cannot afford to hav another afghanistn within her neighbourhood

  4. beegeagle says:

    When we say that when the chips are down and it is time for the grind, there are few other places to turn for direct, gritty, brave and BATTLE-HARDENED troops, they wonder why we are so damn sure-footed about it. We have been shooting non-stop since 1990 and are no quislings. We fight to the death.

    So where is the belly-aching Afua Hirsch? Where are her ”prefeshenel’ peacekeepers when it is time for battle? Liver fail dem? When they mention armies, some hype constabularies 🙂

    Even the French know who they would rather go into battle with as comrades. We have been in the forests, hills and cities of Sierra Leone, the urban grind and marshes of Monrovia, in the mangrove swamps of the Bakassi Peninsula and the Niger Delta. We have fought our way through the urban mayhem of Nigeria’s Far North in daily gun battles – Damaturu, Potiskum, Maiduguri and beyond. In the Mandara Mts and at Kanamma along our desertified frontiers, we have fought.

    We do littoral warfare, amphibious operations, urban warfare, counterpiracy operations…on land, in the air, by sea..we are GAME anytime.

    Well, I said that despite skewed reportage, the Senegalese are more impressive than you know who – COIN operations in the Casamance and credible in peacekeeping – the only country in West Africa where there has never been a coup.

    Where are the sour grapers who said Chad and Mauritania are likeliest bets for Mali – all that just to denigrate Nigeria? Well, these French troops have a rear base in Chad. They did not bring Chadians along for the fight!

    Quietly, we slipped under the radar and have appeared in Mali even before the UN have approved a concrete deployment plan BECAUSE we never shy away from a just war.

    Afua said we have no kit, are in a shocking state, will only be good enough for packing bags and manning checkpoints. Weeeell, were we not too sure about who we are – owners of the Nigerian Army? Her own people are still crouched at home while our gallant troops are already at the battlefront.

    We shall continue to expose charlattans who strut the Western world claiming to be experts. We told them so..who knows the game better?

    Beegeagle’s Blog – we have strength in our convictions.

  5. kenee2k says:

    It was as obvious as daylight that there was going to be a spillover of the Libyan revolution into the surrounding region. Further more the open recruitment of Tuareg tribesmen as mercenaries to prosecute this war by Gaddafi against the revolutionaries, the looting of Libya’s vast Military stock piles of weapons was clear indication of trouble brewing.

    It was apparent that Niger and Mali did not have the capacity to police their borders or restrain rogue militant groups from entering their territory indeed September 2011 we have reports of Gaddafi’s son entered Mali in a convoy of 250 military heavily armed vehicles with his Tuareg mercenaries.( Disappointingly Niger was complicit in this matter and could be said to have had a very shortsighted view of the matter reports did suggest millions of $ in cash being handed out by Gaddafi’s son then no surprise that security was compromised.

    Once the Libyan conflict started where was our strategic projection and responsive contingency plan, Nigerian soldiers should have been on the Niger border in cooperation with Niger Forces to abate any possible incursions.

    Very soon after the Boko haram seemed to gain greater impudence and resulting in bloodshed like never seen before. Quite and possibly with Libyan acquired weapon, now they Northern Mali has become a staging post for Boko Haram. It’s impossible to neutralize the Boko haram insurgency without bringing to an end their funding sources and staging posts in Northern Mali.

    The Islamic insurgency in Mali is a clear, present and direct threat to the integrity of Nigeria, why then is the official approach by Nigeria seems to consider it an indirect and or local problem with limited impact on our territorial integrity.

    My expectation are that Nigeria should have spearheaded the response months ago and should have bolstered this very fragile democracy by sending troops to stabilize the political leadership and then carry out a clean up exercise of those insurgent militants in Northern Mali. In my opinion there is a far greater legitimacy for an intrusion in Mali than there was in Liberia and Sierra-Leone.

    Currently under Holland there is a more concise and expedient approach through its leadership to abate this crisis with a concerted military intervention while Nigeria stands and looks.

    The current troop contribution is a mere 450 or thereabouts that’s a Joke.

  6. anas says:

    Oga Beeg, don’t mind those short black kenke eating charlie folks. Na bad belle go kill them. Now that its time for battle where are the Ghana Army ? Our boys have another opportunity to show to the whole worls how effective we are. March on Nigerian Army but first those airstrikes by the French are very crucial.

  7. beegeagle says:

    The French are impressive, man. No double speak. Even when their Foreign Minister visited Nigeria, he offered training and intel support to fight BH. Some would come here to pontificate about poverty and all else – in their image obsession. Messrs Clean.

    Look at our own ex-colonial master. After going into Kuwait, Iraq and Libya to hustle for a share of the oil spoils by force of arms, they waxed hypocritical in West Africa using their media outlets.

    – In 2008 after Dadis Camara took power, they whipped up hysteria in West Africa about how well armed Guinea supposedly are just so that the ECOWAS-led intervention would not go ahead

    – In 2011 in Cote d’Ivoire, they did precisely the same thing, whipping up hysteria about how bloody a fight against the Gbagbo loyalists would be and how well-armed they are. They were ousted in ONE DAY of attacks in Abidjan while New Forces rebels swept down from the north and west, by some accounts led by Nigerian commandos and Senegalese and Burkinabe troops.

    – In Mali, they have whipped up hysteria first through a damning report which they commissioned Afua Hirsch to write. True to type. Africans must remain squatting so that they can appear relevant. They always do that when any idea of an ECOWAS-led intervention is mooted. Nigeria would lead that naturally and NO, that is not acceptable to the Pater Noster.

    After Afua’s tirade was roundly perforated by us here, the new line became humanitarian concerns which they did not think about in the oil grabs of Libya and Kuwait.

    Well, the pseudo-pacifism is played out now. Have any British media reported the West African involvement?Question..find an answer to that.

    • Henry says:

      Oga Beeg, I’m overwhelmed by complete awe. You ooze with brilliance. You have said it all, absolutely nothing from me can be said. You’ve said all I have in mind and many many more. To all the naysayers, “na una sabi”. To our gallant troops Godspeed, and happy hunting. Just my 2kobo.

  8. General sir ! According to the BBC the french are only providing gunship and fighter jet support while the ground operation would be carried out by nigerian, senegalese and malian ground forces! Otherwise we are doing the hard work! All hail the nigerian army! And the senegalese !

    • jimmy says:

      not surprised we have to wait to hear from the naysayers who confined to Sentry duty it is truly telling whom the french called on action speaks louder than words GOD BLESS THOSE SOLDIERS PLEASE ELIMINATE AS MANY BOKO HARAMS hopefully we get shekau.

  9. Russellinfinity says:

    The Eagles have landed…Whaooo!!!
    It doesn’t get better than this. FM Pecavi and other veterans on this blog where are you? This makes me long for the good old days – with my AK 74, 8 Mags, 6 HE frag grenades and type 3A ballistic vest. Take no prisoners.

    Thumbs up France, Nigeria and Senegal.

    • peccavi says:

      No be only you my guy. I dey look my current big Christmas belly with regret!
      But I would willingly give a years salary to on this op. Fighting in Africa for Africans, is a good way to go

  10. The french troops surely would be special ops who would pin point targets for their air assets and also in the midst of any confusion our boys would cause attempt to rescue any french or western hostages that are in the hands of those coward as well as to coordinate the malian forces.

  11. Russellinfinity says:

    This just flew in, comrades. The NAF is also deployed in Mali for recce missions. It doesn’t get any better.

    • beegeagle says:

      NAF recce would be ATR 42-500 MPA Surveyor planes. Or could those be the high-endurance DA42 MPP surveillance airframes – ala the Pilatus planes used for recce by US PMCs across the Sahel between the Atlantic and the Gulf of Aden?

  12. gbash10 says:

    I am not surprise about Malian soldiers abandoning their weapons and runing away in the face of rebel offensive,i beg laugh don full my belle chei!una sure se mali get army?
    NA will teach those rebels a lesson.

    • johnbest1 says:

      In my opinion What the malians have is not an army,its just a group of para military men,even the nigerian police force is actually braver than the malian army.they are a disgrace to all armed forces everywhere.

  13. beeyee says:

    All hail the nigerian armed forces I’d like everyone to please take a minute and pray for these boys as they bring glory to our fatherland. We really are proud of them and we know that victory is guaranteed

  14. peccavi says:

    Stay safe boys and fulfil your mission

  15. It was france24 that mentioned us nigerians and senegalese helping the french fend of those terrorist but the BBC who mentioned the fact that the french would limit their involvement to providing air support. let’s not give the BBC credit for mentioning the fact that our boys are on the ground! They didn’t and as it is their genre would never do so. I was just connecting the dots. It was an african west african analyst that mentioned the fact that the french may not want to incur casualties and is presently limiting their involvement to aerial assaults, living the ground work to the west africans as he put it when being questioned.

  16. jimmy says:

    oga doziex where are you?

    • doziex says:

      Oga jimmy, I dey kamkpe.

      This feels like a movie I have seen before.

      Whatever goes down, I hope NA & NAF puts their best foot forward.

      • jimmy says:

        Man understand you have to work we just missed your critical analysis , I also am remembering one of YOUR CRITICAL COMMENTS ABOUT PREPARING FOR WAR IN TIMES OF PEACE ,
        just imagine how this war broke out through out November and December we have been shouting ourselves hoarse that this(war) is coming see wetin land gbam!

  17. Henry says:

    Our boys would make us proud in mali. May GOD be with them.

  18. beegeagle says:

    by Serge Daniel

    Backed by French airpower, Mali on Friday unleashed an offensive against Islamist rebels who have seized control of the north of the country and were
    threatening to push south. President Francois Hollande confirmed in Paris that French forces were supporting an attack aimed at repelling Al-Qaeda-linked radicals who have triggered
    international alarm this week with moves towards the capital Bamako.

    Mali’s interim president Dioncounda
    Traore vowed to crush the country’s
    “enemies” in a speech to the nation
    Friday evening as a nationwide state of
    emergency was declared that officials
    said would ban protests, meetings and public gatherings.

    “Our choice is peace… but they have
    forced war on us. We will carry out a
    crushing and massive retaliation against
    our enemies,” Traore said, while a
    military official said the offensive has put a stop to the rebels’ advance. “The Islamist advance has been stopped by the Malian army with the support of
    foreign troops. We are pursuing the
    offensive,” said Captain Oumar Daw, who is based in Mopti, a strategically
    important central town near the frontline.

    Malian officers said a key objective of the offensive was to retake Kona, a central town that was captured by Islamist forces earlier this week. They confirmed that initial exchanges had resulted in casualties on both sides.”As in any war, the Malian army has suffered losses, the enemy also,” Colonel Oumar Dao told a press conference.

    The west African regional bloc ECOWAS also authorised its members to immediately send troops to Mali, and Dao said Nigerian and Senegalese forces were involved in Friday’s offensive — though Dakar denied having any troops in the country.

    “No Senegalese soldier is on Malian
    territory,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Adama Diop, from the public relations office at the Senegalese armed forces. A Senegalese army official told AFP on
    condition of anonymity earlier that
    Senegal had “no combat forces” in Mali. The Malian forces are, on their own,
    considered too weak and poorly
    organised to meet the challenge
    represented by the various Islamist
    groups who seized the north last year,
    taking advantage of the power vacuum created by a coup in Bamako.

    Former colonial power France has warned that the Islamist rebels were seeking to transform the vast West African nation into a “terrorist state”. Hollande gave no indication of the scale
    of French involvement but said it would
    last “for as long as is necessary.”

    Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said
    France’s objectives were to stop the
    rebels’ advance, ensure the territorial
    integrity of Mali and defend 6,000 French expatriates, who have been advised to leave the country.

    Fabius confirmed that French airpower
    had been deployed in support of the
    offensive but was vague when asked if
    airstrikes had been carried out. “Was
    there an aerial intervention? Yes,” he

    — ‘Brutality and fanaticism’ —

    African Union and Benin President
    Thomas Boni Yayi praised France for
    helping mount a counter-attack against
    the Islamist rebels and for recognising
    “the seriousness of the situation in Mali
    and West Africa.”

    Hollande authorised the deployment of
    French forces following an appeal for help from Traore, who will visit Paris for talks on Wednesday. “Mali is facing a terrorist threat coming from the north, which the world knows for its brutality and fanaticism,” Hollande said. “France will always be there when it concerns the rights of a population that wants to live in freedom and democracy.”

    French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le
    Drian briefed his counterparts in the
    United States, Germany and Britain, and
    all expressed public backing for the
    French move.

    As well as capturing Kona, the rebel
    forces moved about 1,200 fighters to
    within 20 kilometres (12 miles) of Mopti,
    a town on the frontier between rebel-
    held and government-held territories. Hollande said France’s support for Mali’s
    action was legitimate in international
    law and in line with the wishes of the
    United Nations.

    The UN Security Council had already given its blessing for a 3,000-strong African force to be sent to Mali but it was not expected to be ready to deploy before September at the earliest.

    Guinea on Friday urged the rapid
    deployment of the anticipated African-led force to Mali, where as Hollande pointed out the situation had become critical.

    “They are trying to deliver a fatal blow to the very existence of this country,” Hollande said. “France, like its African
    partners and the whole of the
    international community, cannot accept

    The Islamists’ advance towards the
    capital has exacerbated fears of Mali
    becoming an Afghanistan-style haven for
    extremists within easy reach of western
    Europe. “Given the political situation in Bamako,it would not take much for the country to fall into the most total anarchy,” Le Drian said.

    Le Drian said he had been struck by the
    level of coordination and military
    organisation shown by the rebels at Kona.

  19. beegeagle says:

    Gentlemen, I did say that a new strategic realignment of forces took place in West Africa in the wake of the Ivorian presidential crisis of 2011. It centred on the pacifist approach which was championed by some West African countries(the minority) and favoured by Britain while the mainstream led by Nigeria, Senegal and Burkina Faso wanted a military intervention, an approach which was favoured by the French.

    In the lead-up to the surgical French air and armoured assault on Abidjan, Nigerian commandos and Senegalese+Burkinabe troops reportedly mustered at Bouake and provided leadership for the pro-Ouattara forces who swept western and central CIV.

    The pacifists did not quite forgive the militaristic phalanx and this rift was further made obvious when, going into Guinea Bissau for the ECOMIB intervention, Nigeria, Senegal and Burkina Faso sent in troops for West Africa.

    Now, Mali has come. Senegal and NIGERIA in with ground troops, in alliance with French air combat units. The rift has become consolidated.

    One more thing. I find it interesting that Guinea-Conakry are pro-intervention. Based on my chitchats with officers and men of the Nigerian Army, the Guineans were unanimously adjudged by our ECOMOG veterans to have been their most tenacious comrades at the battlefront during those heady years in Sierra Leone. It looks like the Guineans shall be deploying shortly as well.

    Niger are fated to be the rear base for this Mali intervention and the have everything at stake – AQIM menace and a likely upswing in the Tuareg rebellion in northern Niger. Same way we are worried about AQIM-Ansaru-Boko Haram synergies in Niger and Mali, so much so that for the first time, we opened defence attache offices in Niger and Mali in 2012.

    So Niger need to jump. They have just as much at stake in Mali as do Nigeria, if not more so given the fact being NEXT-DOOR neighbours to Mali.

    Viva proactive and non-pacifist West Africa.

  20. Bigbrovar says:

    The news of Nigervolvements has be) ) en reported on CNN (online) and on Reuters

    Mali says Nigeria, Senegal, France providing helpReuters – 9 hrs agoBAMAKO (Reuters) – France, Nigeria and Senegal are already providing Malian government forces with assistance on the ground against Islamist insurgents, a defense ministry spokesman said on Friday.”Today, we have partners from Nigeria, Senegal … France and more on the ground, to give us some assistance,” Oumar Dao, chief of operations at the Mali Defence Ministry, told a news conference without providing further details.”Our operational team will define what kind of aid they will provide,” he said.

    Funny non of Al Jezerra or CNN (tv) is reporting this. I hope that our media houses can at least spresd this so that the French dont take all the glory.from the look of things we and the senegalese would be doing the heavy lifting. We deserve that recognition. Although i wonder why Nigerian government officials are denying this.

  21. beegeagle says:

    That said, may God our Divine Imperator..the Greatest of all Inspiration who sees all and knows all, GUIDE and GUARD these conscientious troops as they strive at great risk to life and limb, to restore peace and security to our turbulent region – WEST AFRICA.

    Let the armies who want to sit on the fence and wait for lucrative PKO opportunities, sit squarely on the fence. It won’t be the first time. It might not be their headache today but it could be an existential threat for them later. Try Cote d’Ivoire, once the most prosperous and stable country in our sub-region.

    What goes around, comes around. We have seen it all in this West Africa.

    • Acting Major Benbella says:

      It’s been reported that the Malian troops have re-taken Kona. I heard this on the Canadian Broadcasting Network. Evidently, the group that captured Kona two days ago is the same group that ECOWAS has been in negotiations with these past months. The involvement of Nigerian troops is not getting much play but I think that it is to be expected. Initial focus now is on French air strikes and deployment of special ops teams. The fancy stuff that makes for good news copy. Also, heard that the French lost a copter to ground fire. This is going to be a very interesting war and as quickly as it can be brought to an end by degrading and destroying the associated terror groups and AQIM in Mali and the Sahel the better for the whole region. Especially now when the other Jihad fighters are preoccupied in Syria and AFPAK.

      I join others in giving a shout out to the gallant Nigerian warriors involved in this dangerous but necessary war. They have never failed to show up when called to fight. And they have rarely left the field of battle without first destroying the enemy. We look forward to the day when that military shall have most of the equipment and trained personnel it needs to effectively discharge its assigned tasks with less bleeding. To that day when it shall have its finest hour.

  22. beegeagle says:

    Surprising, BigBrovar.

    Al Jazeera have one correspondent, Mohammed Vall who toured Azawad extensively and spoke to terrorists during Q4 2012. I am surprised that they are not the news leader on this one.

  23. ocelot2006 says:

    So it has begun. Godspeed to our able troops. And give those AQIM bastards hell.

  24. ocelot2006 says:

    But I must say I’m quite suprised. Apparently, we’ve been able to move our troops covertly to Mali without raising any attention, thus ensuring operational security. Kudos to DHQ/MoD.

  25. According to press tv our nigerian troops alongside our international partners have taken the town of Kona! I have already sent the link to general beeg pls share it with others sir!

  26. eyimola says:

    This is a script that has been acted out so many times. Covert deployment, lack of official updates, and as usual a major European country doing just about enough to claim the glory. Is there no media dept in the ministry of defence?

    • Bigbrovar says:

      I wonder oo its really bugs me the alter disregard for the press by the Nigerian military.. We fail to sell our story and leave it to foreigners to fill in the blank. It’s time the MOD at least controls the news.. U really can never underestimate the positives the nation and it’sopeople will get from such.
      As usual Nigerian press are the last to carry the news.

      Anyway sha I am glad we took this challenge and was on ground quickly to turn back the tide. Senegal too should be commended although their close proximity to a francophone nation makes their involvement a given. Still one should commend them.

  27. beegeagle says:


    Sat, 12 Jan 2013

    The Malian Army has retaken the town of
    Konna, which was captured by militants
    on Thursday, a Malian Defense Ministry
    official has announced.

    “The Malian Army has retaken Konna with the help of our military partners. We are there now,” Lieutenant Colonel Diaran Kone said on Friday. The Malian troops drove back the militants from Konna, which is located in the center of the country, after France intervened on Friday with airstrikes to halt advances by the rebels who control the north of the West African country.

    The militants occupying northern Mali want to take full control of the country, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius
    said earlier on Friday, shortly after French President Francois Hollande announced that France would support the Malian government in the conflict. The rebels are “profiting from the delay
    between the taking of international
    decisions and their application,” the
    French foreign minister said, adding that armed groups had “moved south, their goal being to gain control of all of Mali.”

    France has taken military action to prevent the rebels from making more
    gains and “it consists essentially of
    blocking” their advance, Fabius stated. “We must stop the… breakthrough, if not then all of Mali will fall into their hands,with a threat to all of Africa and to Europe itself,” he added.

    “Malian officials say Nigeria and Senegal
    have sent ground forces to support the
    government forces in the conflict. ”

    Chaos broke out in the West African
    country after Malian President Amadou
    Toumani Toure was toppled in a military coup on March 22, 2012. The coup leaders said they mounted the coup in response to the government’s inability to contain the Tuareg rebellion in the north of the country, which had been going on for two months.

    However, in the wake of the coup d’état,
    the Tuareg rebels took control of the
    entire northern desert region, but the
    Ansar Dine extremists then pushed them
    aside and took control of the region,
    which is larger than France or Texas.

  28. beegeagle says:

    Thanks, gentlemen. Let’s keep this going all day and beyond. Tis trending as we write. Surely, that does not come as a surprise to you?

  29. Number one says:

    Kudos to the NA and the senegalese.I would like to know how many troops are on ground.

  30. gbash10 says:

    Great Patriots,thank you all for the info that has been coming,@Gen Beeg,ibi like sei u no sleep at all,well done.
    Where is NTA International,AIT,and Channel News?

    • ocelot2006 says:

      I think a lot if people, including our own news agencies, were left in the dark on this operation. Only MoD can provide the necessary details on troop strength and the nation’s role in the Mali counter-offensive. The problem’s that even MoD’s denying the involvement of Nigerian troops in this operation, even though the Malians say otherwise (CNN).

  31. Let us be sincere if we. Meaning OBJ had not encouraged the northerners when they rioting for sharia we would not be having all this BH problems! Shekau and yusuf muhammad started as sharia tarsase rioters from the year 2000. If OBJ had being ruthless they would not have being emboldened! He was the one who decapitated the capabilities of our armed forces by reducing the size of the NA! He was the one who started this fucking policy of purchasing toyota hilux! Moving way from the NA policy of using landrover defenders, steyr pinguzer and tata or mauruti 4×4’s. To be sincere GEJ is trying! That is why I voted for him but he should do more!

    • ocelot2006 says:

      I’m afraid I disagree with you on Obj. Yes he had reduced our troop strength, but it was for good reason. His administration’s goal was to transform the military from a bloated force to a learn fighting force just like the Isreali Defence Force. This was achieved by trimming the number of personnel while improving on professionalism (through training and military excercises) and firepower.

    • ocelot2006 says:

      But as for Sharia, I think you may be right on that one. Being a secular country, one would have thought that OBJ wouldve objected to the establishment of Sharia law. ‘still don’t know why he was quiet on that one.

  32. It is obasanjo that encouraged those fanatics if he had crushed those responsible for those riots and insisted on the secularity of the nigerian state would BH have emerged? Just like the way he is complicit with those same BH sponsors in the death of my late father chief MKO Abiola

  33. Russellinfinity says:

    “The chief of operations for Mali’s Defence Ministry said Nigeria and Senegal were among the other countries providing military support on the ground. Fabius said those countries had not taken part in the French operation.

    A spokesman for the Nigerian air force said planes had been deployed to Mali for a reconnaissance mission, not for combat.”

  34. peccavi says:

    And elsewhere, the French are still on the offensive, however unsuccessful.

    • K'yall Kelvins says:

      Only one French commando was killed and the hostage is alive not killed as reported. There were around two dozens of KDF crack sticks in close vicinity, just incase. There was lack of enough intel’ in the lightly-co-ordinated operation, something you won’t grasp in the media circles. Chances of getting the hostage in that theater was average for both players at about 40% to 60%. I will feed you with any substancial raw intel which is anticipatedly meant to materialise in this theater.

      Meanwhile, alot of activity going on in Mali, a very well sustained exchange in there. Actually impressed by the Nigerian covert deployment of troops. Keep it up soldiers.
      @Henry. Are you yet aware of how many C-130s were deployed?

  35. beegeagle says:

    (surprisingly, the Presidential Spokesman is “unavailable for comments” 🙂 )


  36. ocelot2006 says:

    What’s with MoD’s unnecessary secrecy? OPSEC has been achieved and the cat’s already out of the bag. If we have troops on the ground (NAF unit excluded), just say it. We don’t need to know its composition.

    And what’s with our media houses? Why aren’t they carrying the news? Or were they warned by DSS/SSS to stay silent for now?

  37. beegeagle says:

    Well, concerning the deployment to Mali let’s forget the numbers for now and focus on the events as they unfold on a day-to-day basis. The force is bound to grow beyond stated levels.

    When ECOMOG first deployed to Liberia in August 1990, they said 4,000 troops from across West Africa. Nigeria provided half of the troops at the time.

    At the height of the First Liberian Civil War(1989-97), Nigeria alone had 13,000 troops on ground in Liberia, comprising about 80% of the entire force.

    In Sierra Leone, ECOMOG were supposed to have 7,000 troops. At the height of the War – the Battle of Freetown II, Nigeria alone deployed 19,000 troops in Sierra Leone, ferrying in an amazing 9,000 reinforcements mostly by frenzied C130 activity, over a 10-day period between Xmas 1998 and New Year 1999.

    The MOMENT that we heard that an additional three dormant C130 Hercules planes(to add to three in service)were due to be made ready next month, I smiled in the knowledge that this is going to be ultimately bigger than we thinking. I would not be surprised to hear that we have 2,000 troops in there by Easter.

    Our military airlift capabilities are now going to have to be taken more seriously, THANK GOD. We used to have nine C130 and C130-H30(stretch variant) and five G222s. Those and other military were hit by the military sanctions slammed against Nigeria during the 1990s. Sparingly used assets were grounded – new Super Puma helics, Jaguar jets (most have not logged up 100 flight hours as we write this),Aermacchi MB 339s, G222s and C130s.

    The ONLY good thing about that, with the benefit of hindsight, those assets were crated and are now mostly said to have been very sparingly used. Two thirds of our Charlies are said to have logged less than 6,000 flight hours and are recoverable – a real boon to our medium to long range force projection capabilities in the long term.

    The assets which were hit by sanctions are now bouncing back to life, almost brand-new. Some years ago, the FG penned a US$69m contract with Alenia for the refurbishment and upgrade of the G222s. We got a free second-hand G222 and an offer of a hangar at Ilorin to the bargain.

    The NAF also signed a US$84 million for the upgrade of the squadron of Aermacchi MB339 to the contemporary “CD” variant. Reports gleaned at the time of the NAF Air Expo 2012 last May suggest that some MB339s were on ground, after an absence of more than a decade.

    Again, we also saw, following the acquisition of four ‘new’ Super Puma helics in 2011, the return to service in March 2012 of two Super Puma helics which were grounded by the said arms embargo and crated in 1997. They were upgraded by Eurocopter Romania. Two more Super Puma helos are lined up for upgrades at the facility as we speak.

    Perhaps what we need to keep troops supplied in Mali, with Sokoto as hub of the airlift operations, might not exceed two C130 to ferry armoured vehicles and supplies. We can also deploy a G222 to the outer limit of loyalist territory for liaison.

    We have been clamouring for the FG to make its acquisitions meaningful to our needs. We can see what the French are doing with Mirage jets and attack helicopters. Same reason why we been yelling for the procurement of surplus and highly durable Mi-24V(6 unit@$30m) and Mi-17s(4 units@$20m) and Su-27 airframes(12 units@$180m). I really do not know why the political will seems to be lacking.

  38. ocelot2006 says:

    ‘any idea of the assets deployed by NAF? And are we going to see NAF’s Mi-35 Hind gunships in action?

    • giles says:

      pls gen Beeg der was a link post here som tym last year wen d NAF/CAS visited parkistan about military hardwares for d armedforces wich delivery wil start dis year.pls i wil link 2 knw if d report is true/real.tank u

  39. beegeagle says:

    They have upgraded a number of Alpha Jet – new avionics and additional pylons. They have 3,000 flights hours of experience on those across the operational spectrum from the ECOMOG years.

    But northern Mali is thrice as large as Liberia and Sierra Leone put together – entailing vast distances in traversing the place which at the very minimum, is equal in size to France.

    So we might need something longer ranged. Our people should quit the “all correct, sir” and let those who pay for the provisioning know that the jet which is divinely crafted for this mission – and is able to fly to and from any corner of northern Mali DIRECT from Sokoto on account of its stupefying 4,000 km combat radius is the Su-27, which they do not have to break the bank to acquire surplus units of from Russia. It took only sixty days for an Ethiopian order for surplus Su-27s to be fulfilled. We can get some by March and begin to log up the flight hours preparatory to deploying them operationally by September.

    Do not forget that AFISMA has a one-year mandate but that is SURE to stretch beyond five years ultimately. Take Liberia for an example. ECOMIL was replaced by UNMIL after the 2nd Liberian Civil War in 2003. Ten years down the line, UNMIL are still on ground.

    So it would take some years before AFISMA conclusively weaken the terrorists of northern Mali. Combat operations – even if mop-ups shall go on until 2015 at the very least, so Su-27s would always be imperative. We get some now, master the rudiments and by 2015, we can start to pile on latest variants of the Su-30 in convenient and affordable annual hauls of four units between 2015 and 2018.

    Back to the present time, we have a ready pool of Mil pilots and a very good safety record on those since we first inducted them in 2000 AD. Only one unit has crashed(NAF 530) and it was restored to full functionality by LOM PRAHA of the Czech Republic.

    Let the FG also grab some surplus Mi-24V and Mi-17 helos(a 6:4 mix can be got for $50m) from Russia, dedicated exclsuively to Mali operations. Those are the most rugged helics that the NAF can take to the harsh climes of Mali.

    Concerning what is handy, MB 339s could be the strategic stop gap with their impressive combat radius of 1,100 miles – thrice what an Alpha Jet can handle. We own a squadron of totally contemporary variants (EACH upgraded at an average unit cost of $7 million) and can improvise with a pair of those for deep strike, taking off from Mopti while the tactical operations can be handle from closest proximity by three Alpha Jet types

  40. tim says:

    SF on ground break,no major deployment break,men on ground deniable break……

  41. beegeagle says:

    That was all too obvious.

    I took it for granted that some of the seasoned SF chaps from the NA and NN who are battling terrorists in the Northeast would be blended with battle-savvy COIN-biased infantrymen from the NA and NAF Regiment who have come through the 4-week Basic Proficency Training Course on ambush defeat, CQB, IED identification and hostage rescue.

    Thanks for the heads up, Tim.

  42. Spirit says:

    Dear Generals,

    If it possible to achieve, the FEDERAL GOVERMENT OF NIGERIA WILL DENY IT HAS AN ARMY!.Nigeria military’s policy is; ‘IF POSSIBLE, DENY EVERYTHING!”

    It has its advantages though as seen by what has transpired withing the past 24 hours. Imagine deploying (how many troops?) and equipment secretly to Mali without people knowing. Kudos to DHQ/Logistics.

    As for those that said NA cannot fight anymore, that the only thing we are good at is manning of road blocks. Well;
    (1) They should go ask France why it chose NA
    (2) They should explain how we deployed so many troops and equipment to Mali ‘under the radar’

    This is the right thing to do. Ive said it before that we will pay dearly for stalling on deployment to Mali. Forget what the UN has been saying about September. Arms of different callibers have been pouring into Northern Mali like a flood. The delay has enabled the rebels to acquire more weapons than they can/will ever need and this has increased the risk that our troops will face geometrically.

    As said earlier by my generals, the goal is to establish a Terrorist haven in Northern Mali where Terrorism will be “exported” to the world the same way Finland exports Nokia, Canada export Blackberry and Nigeria/Saudi export petroleum. It will be the sole product of this ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF NORTHERN MALI (or whatever name they wish) that will be governed by sharia.

    NA, please show them no mercy. Anybody that can behead a fellow human being for watching European League does not deserve to live.

    The French Rafael and the NAF Alfas (I won’t be surprised if they are there already) should quickly destroy the rebels tanks and technicals. This wont be an easy feat as
    (1)They have those technicals in hundreds now
    (2) We have given them too much time to ‘dig-in’ and fortify themselves.
    (3They know the terrain very well.

    I believe it is achievable with the use of real-time Satellite imagery and drones equiped with MAD (Magnetic Anomaly Detectors), Infra Red cameras and of course a lot of Fuel (that place is just too vast). Also, cooperation with the locals will help in tracking the rebels on those ‘featuless sand dunes’. It is imperative that we reduce their mobility.

    This war is not just to liberate Mali, its to secure Freedom and Future of African and the world.

    People everywhere should be given the freeedom to serve God however they want.

    Kudos to the Nigeria Army; always the FIRST IN AND THE LAST OUT.


    • tim says:

      What do you think they would use the M.A.D for in the desert? Tanks buried under the sand? Or submarine in the oasis?!!!!

  43. beegeagle says:

    What do you make of this, gentlemen?

    The French Defence Minister says French, Malian and African troops(read Nigerian and Senegalese troops) have been in action.

    On the same programme and apparently still in denial, since everything starts and ends with corruption and governance issues, the same British media outlet interviews a German JOURNALIST who works for ‘Der Spiegel’ and expectedly played no part in the combat operations and he goes on about French special forces and Malian Army troops fighting – obviously headhunted to do a yeoman’s job and laboriously trying to paper over the contributions of African soldiers.

    Are the British media in denial? Google the following and see where it takes you;

    “Islamist militants drove the army out of northern Mali last year … Can Nigeria take on the Islamists?”

    Go it and see where the cynical vibes are emanating from? These people’s hyperventilation about and fixation on Nigeria beggars belief really

    It is a funny world we live in. The UN Secretary General, the Malian Army operations chief and even the French Defence Minister have all specifically alluded to the Malian Army being helped by a combo of French, Nigerian and Senegalese forces.

    Why are the British in denial or is this all about hoping that Afua’s tirade becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy :). It beggars belief.

  44. Hmmm…very interesting 24hrs……I think we have SF guys on ground already….Their feats certainly hasnt gone unnoticed…..Nice one ..Viva France…Maybe we should adopt the French as our colonial masters…They are more romantic than those stiff necked British lot…lol…..Anyways…make our NAF guys pally with the French AF guys…Maybe 10 Rafaels go fit drop for our pocket during this operation…Nice experience for everybody…Eyes..Ears glued to Beegeagle…Kudos

  45. Spirit says:

    General tim,

    Quite a number of MAD equiped aircrafts were deployed over Vietnam and they were credited with the destruction of over 7000 different kinds of military/dual-use vehicles. Examples are Martins B-57 Camberra, Lockheed P-2 Neptune, Republic F-105 Thunderchief. The Vietcong perfected the art/science of tunneling and could hide scores of tanks/trucks underground which required the hyper-sensitive ‘noses’ of MAD equipped aircrafts to feret out.

    The almighty AC-130 Specter (the specialist Tank-killer) is also equiped with MAD,so also is the A-10 Thunderbolt/Warthog/Devil cross.

    Because of the topography of Northen Mali (large expanse of land with little or no ‘cover’) I believe that these rebels would oftentimes have to bury the few tanks they have in shallow pits for protection air assault.

  46. ocelot2006 says:

    ‘just checked out It seems the French Legionnaires are in the forefront of this op along with Nigerian and Senegalese units. Unfortunately, the French may have just suffered its first casualty, a Gazelle helo pilot. RIP.

  47. Henry says:

    Nigerian special forces commandos are already on the ground, insider sources have confirmed that they have been carrying out covert operations, including the backing of the malian army in the recent counter offensive. As had been earlier reported on this blog nigerian airforce pilots have already been carrying out sorties.

    @kelvin, I do not have any idea.

  48. beegeagle says:

    by M.J. Smith

    Nigeria has sent an air force technical
    team and the commander of a planned
    African-led force to Mali to assist the
    country’s military as it battles Islamists, a presidency spokesman said on Saturday.

    The confirmation of Nigerian military
    personnel on the ground comes after
    French air power helped Mali mount an
    offensive against the Islamists who
    control the country’s north and who have
    been seeking to push further south. However, it was not yet clear when a
    planned 3,000-strong African-led force
    could be sent despite 15-nation west
    African bloc ECOWAS giving its go-ahead
    on Friday for the immediate deployment
    of troops.

    The Islamists’ advance in Mali has raised
    fears that the country could provide a safe haven for Al Qaeda-linked extremists,posing a threat to the region as well as Europe and beyond.

    Nigeria has the largest military in the 15-nation Economic Community of West
    African States, but it is also battling an
    insurgency by Islamist extremist group
    Boko Haram at home in its northern and
    central regions.

    “The technical staff from the Nigerian air force are already on the ground in Mali,” Nigerian presidency spokesman Reuben Abati told AFP. “They are not fighters;they are technical staff.” He added the commander of the planned
    African-led force, a Nigerian, was also in

    A Nigerian defence spokesman had
    earlier said the country had not sent any
    troops to Mali. Abati maintained the
    statement was “factually correct to the
    extent that the Nigerian troops are not
    yet on the ground. The foot soldiers are not yet there.”

    The Nigerian air force team was there to “assess infrastructure, to provide back-end support and to help maintain the
    Malian air force,” Abati said. He did not have further details on their activities, including when they were deployed, how many air force staff were there and how long they would remain.

    Nigerian troops would later be deployed
    as part of the planned African-led force
    that has been approved by the UN Security Council, he said. Abati could not provide numbers, but Nigeria has previously spoken of sending 600 troops.The UN Security Council has approved the 3,000-strong force, but it is not expected to be ready to deploy before September.

    Mali’s army said Nigerian and Senegalese forces were involved in Friday’s offensive against the Islamists which was backed by French air power. Dakar has denied having any troops there.

    Friday’s offensive saw Mali and French air power unleash a counter-attack against Islamist fighters, recapturing the central town of Kona after it had been lost to the rebels as they advanced south from their northern strongholds.

    French President Francois Hollande
    confirmed that French forces were
    supporting the Malian offensive aimed at repelling the Al-Qaeda-linked radicals. While he gave no indication of the scale of French involvement he said it would last for as long as necessary.

    US officials meanwhile suggested they
    might support the French action there
    with surveillance drones and aerial
    refuelling tankers.

    Mali’s army is considered too weak to
    tackle the Islamist groups who seized the north last year, taking advantage of the power vacuum created by a coup in

  49. Deltaman says:

    Okay … does this mean NA/NN SF units are in action? I tire for our government!!!

  50. Donspony says:

    French helicopter shot down in Mali. Pilot died of injuries while being taken to safety.

  51. beegeagle says:

    IT IS GOOD that Abati has spoken up. When the Defence spokesman who should know tells you “NOTHING OF THE SORT” and as an apparent after-thought the Presidential spokesman says

    – NAF on ground in Mali

    – Commander-designate of AFISMA on ground in Mali

    – NAF offering technical support to Mali Air Force

    They have told us the ‘politically correct’ side of the story but only a PART thereof. SF chaps are saying ‘commandos embedded’ while NAF chaps saying ‘recce flights underway’.

    (by AFP)


    “Mali’s army said Nigerian and
    Senegalese forces were involved in
    Friday’s offensive against the Islamists
    which was backed by French air power.
    Dakar has denied having any troops

    End of Quote

    The Malian Army do not know who they are fighting alongside? You can draw your own conclusions.

  52. chidez says:

    Exactly! Mr beegeagle, the FGN is only telling us the political aspect of this. For Nigerian forces to be fighting along side the Malian forces, it means they had arrived either wednesday or thurday. I think the Malian president on seeing that his forces cannot hold, quickly but covertly appealed to international allies to rush in and halt rebel advance further south. Senegal has also denied being on ground.

    The FGN is fearing a huge political backlash because the situation at home is not rosy as well. The layman on the street who doesnt have a clear understanding of the defense, strategic studies and geopolitics will say ‘we get boko haram to fight we go dey help another man fight’. One thing I see in this war is that its not going to go down well political and domestically especially if boko haram manages to launch a resonable attack in the coming weeks. Except the FGN props up media campaign to make the ordinary nigerian see that a safer Mali is relatively a safer Nigeria.

  53. Bigbrovar says:

    News coming in from Al jazeera saying ecowas countries expected to send in troops from Monday

  54. jimmy says:

    Nigerian troops are already in Mali you do not choose a two star general over night. Konna was the tipping point for the French. I am now beginning to believe Nigeria was in Ivory coast. The denials will will come hard and fast. Politically it would be suicide for any French President to launch any mission without help. This is too vast an area and casualties are inevitable God ‘s speed to our boys and by GOD give them Hell!

  55. tim says:

    You all love war,and tanks and so on……… May good not let you all get down to do the dirty work of fighting,killing and maiming…then you all will always remember diplomacy and dialogue……. A smart general finds a way to win the war,without a round fired,but an intelligent general find a way to win the battles,that might not win the war… Mind you there is a difference between smart and intelligent….. I would choose smart everyday….. The bastards in Mali, have intelligent leaders,and they will pay the price,for not using knowledge to the best effect,as a smart general would…… I roll with the smart crowd, and we going to give them hell and fury on earth,in mali…. For testing if the smart guys,can draw blood also.

    • tim says:

      That is me qouting my friend.

    • ocelot2006 says:

      ‘glad to see you’ve been reading Tse Tsung’s Art of War. Anyway, I’m pretty sure no one enjoys war ‘cos it brings out the very worst in man. But this mission is noble and necessary. A country was on the brink of collapse with Al Qaeda running loose up north. The last thing we want is the total collapse of Mali and AQIM setting up a strong foothold in west Africa as the consequences will be quite dire (instability and spread of terrorism).

  56. Spirit says:

    I think NN/NA Special Forces have been on ground in Mali for a while (earlier than Thursday) doing reccon duties.
    I will second Oga Chidez in saying that GEJ knows that a lot of Nigerians are opposed to military intervention due to the myriads of security challenges (BH, Oil Bunkering, Piracy, Kidnapping etc) at home. They are saying that we should put out the fire raging in our own home before goping to the rescue of our northern neighbour.
    I will say Mali is part of the problem we have at home. And if we dont solve the Mali issue now, BH will look like ‘christians missionaries’ compared with what we will see in a few years time.

  57. peccavi says:

    Well the FGN could be telling the truth as support does not mean actual fighting it could be planning, staff work etc. Although I’m thinking there must be some element of a ground force at least embedded with the Malians.
    So far it seems the French have taken the bull by the horns, I think the game plan is to push the Islamist back and inflict a series of defeats on them, denude them with air power while the Malian and ECOWAS forces follow up and consolidate. I can’t see the French deploying long term.
    The real question is why now?
    Konna is not necessarily strategic and generally I assumed that it was a pre negotiation offensive, I’m guessing that the French either picked up intel that the offensive was actually serious and would try to take Mopti or they figured the Malians were going to run again and decided to start the fight now before Mopti and all the heavy weapons (and possibly French kit) was lost to Ansar El Dine.
    The question is whether the French offensive will disrupt the enemy long enough for the ECOWAS force to land, organise, shake out and deploy.
    I doubt the French are there in anything up to battalion strength and without forces to back up and secure any gains all they will achieve is pissing off the Islamists, (causing the execution of their hostages), and exposing the Malians to more embarrassment. I’m hoping things will become clearer as time goes by

  58. beegeagle says:

    There is something which appears lost on us at this time. The troops on ground in Mali today are not AFISMA troops.

    While some foreign media outlets have tried to obscure the significance of this swift Nigerian and Senegalese deployment and making it look like damage control in the wake of the French air strikes, nothing can be farther from the truth.

    When the UNSC passed Resolution 2085 on December 30th, that was the formal approval for a quadripartite ECOWAS-AU-EU-UN arrangement for a Mali offensive. The deployment was tentatively slated to commence in September while France said that this could become operable in June but not earlier. ECOWAS were supposed to provide the bulk of ground troops – perhaps with the AU playing a bit part role, the EU were to retrain the Malian Army and help with logistics, cash and possibly training for AFISMA troops while the UN role would probably have been championed by the French and Americans through jet and drone strikes,intel support and logistics.

    That was the complex arrangement on ground, details of which were still being finetuned until this week. A formal and final action plan had not even been arrived at and everyone was still trying to harmonise.

    Then Ansar Dine pulled out of peace talks being moderated by Burkina Faso for no reason. Next we saw was a southward advance by the terrorists – pushing into central Mali. So Mali’s President appealed to France and to our supposedly dithering ECOWAS member states for support on an INDIVIDUAL basis.

    So France came on their own behest and not on behalf of either the EU or UN while Senegal and Nigeria came as countries which respectively sought to help the Malians and NOT under any ECOWAS ambit. All the more reason why these three countries need to be commended for their swift responses – a matter of country to country ties between them and Mali.

    So the SF chaps and the NAF technical crew and recce chaps are there in the name of NIGERIA and not on behalf of ECOWAS. The SF chaps appeared to do their CTCOIN thing alongside Malian troops, NAF recce to help with intel and technical crews possibly to support Malian MiG 21 and Mi-24D crews.

    Our proactive response actually pre-empted AFISMA. The first time that we had something of this nature manifesting in West Africa was in 1991 when Nigeria’s military ruler, General Babangida sent a battalion of troops to support the regime of his coursemate, General JS Momoh of Sierra Leone right after the RUF rebel war commenced. That was a bilateral NGR-SLR arrangement which had nothing to do with ECOWAS or ECOMOG.

    It was not until the 1997 ouster of President Kabbah that ECOMOG, having wound down operations in Liberia, moved into Sierra Leone on an official ECOWAS-sanctioned onslaught which later restored the Kabbah regime to power by dislodging the RUF-AFRC alliancefrom their perch after the Battle of Freetown I in February 1998.

    As we speak, a similar two-track arrangement suffices in Liberia where Nigerian military officers and NCOs serve with the Armed Forces of Liberia on secondment and as part of a bilateral NGR-LBR arrangement. Concurrently, we also retain two battalions in Liberia under an entirely different multilateral security setup, namely UNMIL.

    Yet another bilateral security arrangement which is currently underway is the Benin-Nigeria Joint Anti Piracy Task Force – TG 11.1 (OP PROSPERITY). That is a bilateral Benin-Nigeria thing which has nothing to do with ECOWAS. We knew when President Yayi Boni came here to see GEJ over that matter.

  59. beegeagle says:



    Britain is to provide military aircraft to transport foreign troops to Mali amid a new push against Islamist forces in the country. Downing Street confirmed two RAF C-17s would be made available urgently, but added that no British personnel will be deployed in a combat role.

    It came after a French military helicopter pilot was killed as his country launched attacks against Islamist groups and a failed attempt to release a hostage. Lt Damien Boiteux, 41, was killed during operations against rebels in Mali, in what appears to be a dramatic new western military intervention in the former French

    French President Francois Hollande has ordered an increase in domestic security in the aftermath of military operations in Mali and in Somalia. He was responding to the risk of Islamist attack after French forces intervened against militants.

    Human Rights Watch reported 10 civilians were killed in fighting in the central Mali city of Konna. They included three children who drowned trying to cross a river to safety, the group said.

    French commandos were engaged in fierce battle with al-Shabaab militants in the Somalian town of Bulo-Marer, about 70 miles south of Mogadishu, during a night time raid to rescue a hostage.

    Frenchman Denis Allex, who was
    kidnapped in July 2009, was also believed to have died, according to the French defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

    “During this intense combat, one of our pilots… was fatally wounded,” said Mr Le Drian. The operation had destroyed a rebel command centre, he said, adding that there had been three strikes on rebel
    targets overnight.

    France was compelled to act quickly to stop the Islamist offensive which could allow “a terrorist state at the doorstep of
    France and Europe,” the minister said. A second solider was also missing after the operation. A statement released by al-Shabaab claimed to have captured an injured solider.

    Special forces were among hundreds of French troops and Malian government soldiers who drove rebels out of the town on Saturday, turning back a rebel advance. Britain and America announced their support for the operation, ordered by Mr Hollande after the Islamists threatened to
    break out of their northern stronghold and invade the south of the country.

    Mali’s fragile government had begged for help from France after Islamists drove their army out of the northern town of Konna on Thursday. It was the fiercest fighting in the Saharan nation since rebels grabbed control of a
    vast territory bigger than France nine months ago.

    An international taskforce was being prepared and was expected to go into action later this year against the rebels. But after Konna was seized, French forces were ordered into action, apparently
    supported by African armies. Mr Hollande said he ordered the operation at the request of President Dioncounda Traore, Mali’s president, who has declared
    a state of emergency.

    The French president described the rebels as terrorist groups, drug traffickers and extremists, and said they “show a brutality that threatens us all.” He said the operation would last “as long as

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that Senegal and Nigeria also responded to the appeal for help to counter the militants.

    Residents in central Mali said they had seen Western military personnel arriving in the area, with planes landing at a nearby airport throughout the night.

    Sanda Abou Moahmed, a spokesman for the main rebel Ansar Dine group, mocked the Malian president for calling French
    troops into their former colony. “While Dioncounda Traore asked for help from France, we ask for guidance from Allah and from other Muslims in our sub-region because this war has become a
    war against the crusaders,” he said by telephone from Timbuktu.

    For the past nine months militants have ruled the north of Mali, a lawless desert region where kidnapping has flourished. There are 6,000 French citizens in Mali, and they have been urged to leave.
    Kidnappers currently hold seven French hostages in the nation.

    A Mali army official said that Islamist militants had been driven out of Konna. Lt. Col. Diarran Kone said on Saturday that the military did not yet control the city and were still searching for any hidden
    Islamist extremist elements there.

    “The Islamists have been chased out of the city of Konna. We are doing sweeps of the city to find any hidden Islamist extremist elements,” said Lt. Col. Kone. “The full recovery of the city is too early to determine as we do not yet control the city, and we remain vigilant.”

    The operation in Mali is the first military intervention under the leadership of President Hollande, just weeks after he pulled France’s last combat troops out of Afghanistan, ending an increasingly
    unpopular 11-year presence there. France was a leading force in the NATO operation against Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s forces in 2011.

    Also that year, France played a driving role in an international military intervention to oust Ivory Coast’s Laurent Gbagbo, who refused to leave power after disputed elections.

  60. beegeagle says:


    DAKAR, Jan. 12 (Xinhua)

    Senegal has decided to send 500 soldiers to Mali after ECOWAS announced Saturday its authorization of the deployment of an African-led international force to flush out rebel groups from northern Mali, according to the Senegal Foreign Minister Mankeur Ndiaye.

    President Macky Sall “has decided to send a battalion of 500 soldiers,” said the minister. Although the troops are not yet on the ground, but they will be there “in a matter of days,” he said.

  61. beegeagle says:


    ALGIERS, Jan. 12 (Xinhua)

    Algeria is concerned about the latest development in violence-ridden Mail, the official APS news agency reported Saturday, quoting foreign ministry spokesman Amar Belani.

    Belani said in a statement that Algeria
    strongly condemns the attacks by terror
    groups in Mali’s central region of Mopti,
    further expressing support to the
    transitional Malian authorities. The Algerian foreign ministry urged rebel
    groups “which respect the territorial
    integrity of Mali and are not linked to
    terrorism” to be committed to a political
    solution to the Malian crisis.

    On Friday, French President Francois
    Hollande announced that French forces
    have launched military intervention in
    support of Malian troops countering
    Islamist rebels’ offensive.

    Latest reports showed that Mali’s rebel
    groups had controlled the northern half of the country and are heading to the south. They have captured the strategic city of Konna, a central town of 50,000 people, some 700 km northeast of capital Bamako, putting Mali’s sovereignty at risk.

    The UN Security Council had agreed last
    month to authorize the African-led
    International Support Mission in Mali,
    with 3,300 soldiers deployed, to support
    the African country in its fight against
    terrorists and armed rebel groups.

  62. beegeagle says:

    Still on the attempt by the British media to blot out Nigeria’s military history at this time and before now, to rewrite the history of the Sierra Leonean Civil War, it seems as if homers in the know are actually not buying into that cheap trick.

    Nigerian troops fought in the swamps, on the streets, in the hills and in the jungles of Sierra Leone, pitted against 30,000 RUF rebels and their renegade AFRC allies from the Sierra Leone military in all the provinces of that country.

    As far as we know, the British only clustered around the Freetown area where they saw action against a marginal 300-man band of street urchins known as the West Side Boys. Somehow, the British media think that British forces liberated Sierra Leone from the RUF-AFRC, entirely defacing the supreme sacrifices and gallantry of Nigerian troops.

    Here is a Sierra Leoenean writing..note that he did not even say “ECOMOG”, he specifically said “Nigerian troops”



    ” It turned out that the arms themselves
    never actually got to the pro-Kabbah
    forces:they were impounded by Nigerian troops, who must be credited – along with the pro-government Kamajor militia fighters – for unseating the AFRC and restoring democracy to Sierra Leone.”

    end of quote

    Let the British continue to gloat over unearned plaudits. For those who need to know WHO FOUGHT and who was there EVERYDAY for Sierra Leoneans during that vicious war, HEAR from the Sierra Leoneans themselves.

    Enough of British-led media blackspotting of the Nigerian military – ECOMOG, then Afua Hirsch’s tirade and they are still baying for more?

  63. Teeboy says:

    Kudos to Nigeria! We once again show that we are indeed the truly exemplary army in Africa. Hirsch can go eat s**t!!!

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