Jan. 26 (Xinhua)

About 460 million U.S. dollars are needed for the operations of the troops to be deployed by African countries in Mali, according to delegates attending the preparatory meetings for the African Union (AU) summit to be held here on Sunday(27 January).

There is an additional need of 300 million dollars for the restructuring of Mali national army, they said. The sum will be put on the table at the donors’ conference scheduled for Tuesday in Addis Ababa, following the AU summit
on Sunday and Monday, which is set to be dominated by the crisis in Mali.

With 3,300 troops to be sent by member
states of the Economic Community of the
West African States (ECOWAS),a regional
entity to which Mali belongs, the
International Mission of Support in Mali
(MISMA) force just started its deployment to help liberate the north of Mali from rebel groups control. Chad has promised to send 2,000 soldiers and Burundi has confirmed its readiness to join without giving exact number of
soldiers. The estimated financial need of 460 millions dollars includes the spending relative to the Chadian troops, director of the AU peace and security department, Wane el Ghassim, told Xinhua.

In order to mobilize such huge resources,the AU has call on the whole international community, to bring forth even “symbolic contributions” in favor of Mali, “whose attachment to pan-Africanism and to the continental causes has never failed in the past half century of independence,” said AU commissioner of peace and security,Lamamra Ramtane.

For Ramtane, the resolution adopted by
the UN Security Council in October
stipulates a global approach with various measures to be taken for a way out of the political and security crisis that Mali is now undergoing, and it has a vocation to structurize all the actions of the continent and the rest of the world.

Authorized by the UN resolution adopted
on Dec. 20, the deployment of the MISMA
for one year should be followed by the
training and restructuring of the Mali
forces, and the restoration of authority of the Mali state all over the national territory. At a mini-summit of the AU Peace and Security Council on Friday evening, Ramtane renewed his call on the UN Security Council to “authorize without delay the organization of the support mechanism … so as to grantee a predictable, stable, sufficient and durable financing for MISMA.”

However, for the moment, the UN
engagement in Mali stays political, Herve Ladsous, deputy secretary general in charge of the UN’s peace-keeping
missions, told Xinhua Saturday. “We are not asked to send peacekeepers in this case. There are the countries of the region who have decided to mobilize. We are supporting them. We will actively participate in the donors’ conference to be held next Tuesday,” Ladsous said.

As to UN financial assistance requested
by the AU, “it is up to the decision of the
Security Council. We take orders from the Security Council. We cannot use the funds by ourselves (without orders), but I think the attitude is very open,” he said. According to him, “the Secretary-General (of the United Nations) has made proposals, based on which the Security Council will pronounce on the issue of logistical support that we would provide to ECOWAS troops engaged on the ground.” The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is to attend the AU summit.


About beegeagle

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


  1. peccavi says:

    Op Serval Sitrep as of 27/01/2013

    • Elements of the 92RI, and 1RIMa landed in DAKAR to move to Mali
    • TIMBUKTU has fallen to Franco/ Malian taskforce 21 RIMa GTIA (Combined Arms taskforce) commanded by Col Paul GEZE of 21RIMa
    • Fr force seized TIMBUKTU Airport in conjunction with MNA forces after helicopter strike. Unit was allegedly 1er RCP (1er Régiment de Chasseurs Parachutistes/1st Parachute Chasseur Regiment)
    • This was followed by a parachute drop of 2nd Coy, 2REP (2eme Regiment Etranger de Parachutiste/ 2nd Foreign Legion Parachute Regiment) to the north of the city to cut off the enemy retreat using 2 x C-130 and 3 x C-160
    • 21 RIMa GTIA surrounded TIMBUKTU from the south
    • Over watch was performed with drones, helicopters and Atlantique surveillance aircraft
    • Heavy fighting allegedly took place during the approach as well as enemy use of IEDs
    • Entrance into the city was unopposed
    • Fr armoured battalion (name unknown) moved to GAO
    • Fr asks its citizens to leave Northern Nigeria immediately

    • MNA forces entered TIMBUKTU and have begun clearance ops. Entry unopposed, city is friendly hands but not secure
    • Civilian population reported to be ‘hysterical’ with joy
    • MNLA spokesman Moussa Ag Assarid states their fighters have taken control of KIDAL in conjunction with MIA as en abandoned it. They also claim to have secured TESSALIT north of KIDAL and KHALIL on the Algerian border

    • AFISMA to form 4 x 500 man battalions
    • 1400 Chadians and 500 Nigeriens are now in theatre
    • Chadian and Nigerien forces now in control of the Malian towns of MENAKA and ANDERAMBOUKANE near the Niger border
    • UK offers further help in training Malian, AFISMA forces, logistics, surveillance and intelligence
    • Canadian SF reported to be in theatre to protect Canadian assets such as aircraft embassy etc, Also reported to be on exercise in Niger with Nigerien forces
    • The EU Training Mission to Mali (EUTM Mali) will based on the Fr 9 RIMa (9e Régiment d’Infanterie de Marine/ 9th Marine Infantry Regiment) commanded by Fr Col Bruno Heluin. It will consist of 450-500 trainers of which 1 Coy (154 men) will be force protection. Troops will be contributed by France, Germany, Spain and the UK. Main goal will be to train 650 man Malian battalions as well as embed with the Malian army to advise on HR, technical issues, logistics, intelligence etc

    Retreating Ansar El Dine fighters set fire to the Ahmed Baba Institute in TIMBUKTU destroying thousands of ancient manuscripts
    En has fallen back from TIMBUKTU and KIDAL
    Fr forces confirm 15 x en KIA during the assault and consolidation of GAO

    TIMBUKTU: I’ve been travelling the past few days so have tended to farm as much information as I could when I get free wifi and write as I’m on the train or plane or airport etc. I wrote today’s analysis in abstract looking ahead and started it with the phrase ‘barring anything interesting happening’ and in the space of a few hours we get a para drop, and 2 cities in the bag. So much for pre-empting the news cycle.
    The French it seems love to show off. I mean who drops anyone into battle anymore these days? An opposed para drop is so dangerous it is almost tactically pointless, unless you of course wish to deposit an entire company at once, maintain the element of surprise that helicopters (of which you don’t have enough for a simultaneous drop anyway), its too far and dangerous for an overland drive or foot advance, you have complete air superiority, the enemy does not have an integrated air defence and you have a Company of extremely bad tempered paratroopers to hand.
    The operation to capture TIMBUKTU was tactically brilliant, doctrinally pure and brilliantly executed
    The Fr armoured battle group 21RIMa GTIA moved southwest along the KONNA-NIAFUNKE towards TIMBUKTU stopping short by a few miles. I observed that behind journalists embedded with Fr forces there were 120mm mortars these have an 8km range, presuming they would want to be able to fire into depth I would guess they were about 5-6 km behind the leading forces. Now once GAO had been cleared the western flank of TIMBUKTU was exposed as was the western flank of 21RIMa GTIA. According to Fr reports there was alot of action in the ‘Niger loop’ the area where the River Niger bends between GAO and TIMBUKTU, I’m guessing SF were operating there to disorientate the enemy and harass them.
    The airport was then seized by a combined SF task force from !RCP with attached Malians supported by helicopters, once, apparently this passed off unopposed, once complete 21 RIMa passed through while 2REP who had emplaned at DAKAR conducted their first combat jump since KOWLEZI in the Congo, north of the town to cut off the enemy retreat. 21 RIMa then pushed recce units up to the entrance of the town, most likely to either ascertain if the enemy was going to resist or to at least secure the break in point for the MNA who promptly pushed through and began clearing through the town to the joy of the local people. The en had already left it seems not before destroying valuable 14th century manuscripts a rather pointlessly petulant form of barbarism and shooting a fellow apparently celebrating Fr/ MNA victories.
    This was again a textbook brilliant battalion operation, very minimalist, but very showy, conservative yet daring. A commander is usually given a set of assets and told ‘Here are your bag of toys, go play with them’ in this case he did and did it well. The biggest consideration I guess would have been having to fight through TIMBUKTU knowing the collateral damage to a UNESC heritage site as well as the dead civilians would have been a PR disaster. Thus his aim was to reduce the en through air strikes, cause them to withdraw (north and east I presume) and then take the town with limited fighting. Thus TIMBUKTU after being left alone was hit with a series of air attacks, news footage heavily featured the forces to the west after the recapture of DIABALY leading people like me to conclude that TIMBUKTU would be the primary target so as to cut off the border with Mauritanian, instead it was GAO first. In addition to ground attack, the Fr had attack helicopters, 120 mortars, plus their vehicles weapons systems. Anyone who stood and fought would have been destroyed. considering majority of the en had fallen back to KIDAL days ago was the northern para drop necessary? Well yes. From the purely military point of view of cutting off retreat and reinforcement but also more importantly it was one of the toys in the bag given to the commander, he had jets, helicopters, drones, armour, mortars, infantry, special forces, paras in his toy bag and he used them to great effect. Notice how quickly pictures of the capture of the airport and reports from embeds and the capture of the airport came out.
    That was pure psyops at its best. Essentially the French have told the en, ‘Look at all the toys we have to play with and look at how much we like to play with them’. As a textbook combined arms assault on a built up area that’s a B+, as a combined arms assault on a built up area with a hint of ‘Fuck you’ at the end its definitely an A.

    KIDAL: the fate of KIDAL could be a big question mark, the MNLA is weak and defeated so for them to take KIDAL it means essentially it was empty and they just walked in. It throws a big complication into the mix. Does the coalition treat them as fellow liberators or does it order them to disarm and hand over control? From the MNLA/ MIA point of view it is a clever move. They not only control territory again, it is Taureg heartland territory. They are no longer invaders coming to subjugate black southerners but liberators who chased out the fundamentalists and can protect their brother and sister Tauregs from the excesses of the MNA. It’s a shrewd move and needs to be handled properly, for better or worse the MNLA consists of Malians and the Tauregs do have legitimate grievances. They have shown themselves to be marginally better fighters than the MNA and they have the local knowledge and legitimacy to help defeat Ansar El Dine (which is also a Taureg group), MUJAO and AQIM. I would strongly suggest they are taken at their word, a negotiated hand over to take place. There is a legitimate fear amongst the Taureg innocent and guilty of reprisals based on history both recent and past. There is a legitimate anger amongst southern Malians about the disaster the Taureg rebellion brought upon their country and the occupation of non Taureg cities. And considering some of the wealthiest and most competent Taureg fighters are still in the mountains, it is always the penchant for scared ill disciplined troops to shoot first, shoot second, and wait until someone asks a question and then shot them again just to make sure. This must be avoided. Rather than MNA going into KIDAL I would suggest an African unit with Malian gendarmes attached (I wonder which country has a few spare battalions with its own ground attack jets and attack helicopters?) follow up with a general amnesty (except for those accused of war crimes) push them through the EU training programme mix them up with southern Malians and regenerate them as Border Scouts or something and to be used exclusively to pursue the war against AQIM, Ansar el Dine, MUJAO and co and then to police the borders when the conflict dies down. Divide and rule was an old British technique, it was used not because it sounded nice but because it was very effective.

    EUTM Mali: sounds good on paper. Whether they will have the time and structure to train all these battalions will be interesting much less what kind of package they are going to draw up for these soldiers. Are they just going to teach them to fire and manoeuvre or are they going to teach commanders to lead. It is interesting to see the French will embed with their HR, logistics, intelligence and technical branches. These are the critical yet unglamorous parts of an army that can have an exponential effect on its abilities away from uniforms and weapons. A soldier in DIABALY was interviewed about why he ran away and he was frank, he had been promoted once in 10 years, his commanders always took a portion of his pay, he had only one uniform and no boots. Administering your troops is one of the most irritating but fundamental duties of a commander and ensuring they are paid and looked after a key duty. The British Army found this out the hard way in WW2 and has now turned it in to a virtual religion. But simple devices like proper recording of soldiers, career management, guaranteed pay (maybe through electronic or mobile banking), will go a long way to making soldiers believe in the fight. After all why should you stay and be shot or captured and beheaded at the orders of a well fed guy who takes 10% of your salary? If the French can transform the ‘back end’ of this army they will do more good long and short term than an armoured division and a squadron of F-16s

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