Mali-bound Nigerian troops

Mon Jan 28, 2013(Reuters)

French President Francois Hollande said on Monday it would be up to African forces to tackle Islamist rebels in the northern part of Mali once the main towns in the region were retaken.

At a news conference in Paris, Hollande said “we are in the process of winning the battle” but acknowledged the harder part was still to come and that it would largely be a task for Malian and African forces. After retaking several cities, including the northern town of Gao at the weekend, French and Malian troops sealed off the fabled desert town of Timbuktu on Monday after Islamists, who had taken control early last year, fled a French-led offensive.

Hollande said French troops would take a step back once the job of retaking key
towns was complete. “Then the Africans can take over the baton,” Hollande said. “They are the ones who will go into the
northern part, which we know is the most difficult because that’s where the
terrorists are hiding.” In the face of a two-week-old French-Malian counter-attack, rebels have pulled back into the Saharan desert and mountains. Military experts fear they could carry on a grueling hit-and-run guerrilla war against the government from there.

Hollande sent French fighter jets to Mali
on January 11 and now have around 3,500 troops on the ground. There are a further 1,900 soldiers as part of the growing pan-African force. As French and Malian troops push into northern Mali, African troops from a U.N.-backed continental intervention force expected to number 7,700 are being flown into the country.

“It’s up to the Africans to permit Mali to
restore its territorial integrity,” Hollande
told a news conference. “Once territorial integrity is restored the French will only stay to train and direct. Just as we went into action rapidly, we will draw back to the starting points.” A third northern town, the Tuareg seat of Kidal, in Mali’s rugged and remote northeast, remains in rebel hands.


About beegeagle

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


  1. beegeagle says:

    Yeah, we know that.

    Out here, I am actually wondering, given the likely intensity of the coming altercations and whether it is urban/desert operations, how you would deploy AFISMA.

    For me, after the blitzkriegs and the shock-and-awe comes the hard grind. If it has to do with FIBUA, houseclearing, ambush defeat, combat engineer and K9 team operators, CQB – Nigerians lead the charge. Desert operations – Nigerien and Chadians dominate the operations. Law of comparative advantage.

    AFISMA need to get the kid brothers – Gambia, Liberia, Togo and Benin clustered around central Mali and hemmed tight against the Mauritania border.

    Mix in Nigerian, Chadian and Senegalese troops in 1:1:2 ratio at TIMBUKTU; Nigerian, Chadian and Nigerien troops in a 2:1:1 at GAO; Nigerien, Chadian and Nigerian troops in a 2:1:1 ratio at KIDAL..all backed up by Malian forces of course.

    Deploy Guinean and Burkinabe troops in Konna, Douentza and Diabaly to steel up their Malian counterparts.

    Let me say that the degradation of rebel combat assets has not been concluded. A very rare peek at life in rebel-held Timbuktu was provided yesterday by Al Jazeera through a female reporter there. We saw the town emptying itself of its fundamentalist overload as terrorists took leave of the ancient town shortly before Malian and French troops arrived. They left in their technicals. You can draw your own conclusions.

    • G8T Nigeria says:

      Wow, d use or UAVs is to be considered paramount in desert ops especially clustered one with hilly tops, we cud test d funtionality of Amebo 3 in d field but I wonder y we can’t wage wars like d west. My fear is that we might order d chinese old battle strategy centred ard overwhelming force, flanking and outright charge. This strategy is so welcoming to terror grougs who gets inspired by killing engh opposing forces, dey operate like d mongols who enjoys beheading an Enemy in d public and I pray not on video. Strenght in wisdom and intelligence is d key. All land forces are to be engaged for mop up ops while air suveillance provide cover ard friendly forces. When We hit deep into built up areas, guerrilla tactics sets in and I expect we start recruiting informats in large numbers in northern mali to pre inform invading forces. On d second look, the media have not rlly mentioned any casualty be it WIA, KIA or medivac hiccups on d french side. Probably that aspect of reporting will be strenghtened when Nigerian leads african forces. Our dear ghanian writer will be alive again wif her cooked stories. May are stories rest in pieces. Painfully africa is in d dark abt its proposed intervention plan, fanks to france president and def minister who gives info to promote d will to destroy d enemy. Have not seen nor hrd mali, nigeria, AFISMA media rep speaking as regards mali intervention. I bliv also it cud be a ploy to keep d enemy and its roots in west africa in d wild dark.

    • Somoric says:

      Beegeagle, if anybody thought that this Mali shindig was a piece of cake. Take a peek from the Washington Post, Meanwhile, the media in UK are up in arms regarding the deployment of 200 UK ‘trainers’ as part of EU Mission to Mal, its being called ‘Mission Creep’. The challenge for AFISMA Force Commander is that the deployment of land and air assets is going to take time and financial resources. The Indepedent wrote an editorial suggesting that the French and the EU in general cannot go it alone and would need the US to support the mission in totality. Therefore the words of Lord Eeben regarding Mali has come full circle, a stitch in time save nine. The US AFRICOM has announced is setting up a drone base in Niger, just like Pakistan and Afghanistan, drones does not stop the spread of this manic ideology, Our C in C has provided a hint of how we are in for the long run. Its going to cost us for the safety of the Republic, we better start to increase our defence budget and our assets acquisition now.

  2. beegeagle says:

    This actually works massively to Nigeria’s advantage. Why so?

    Well, the US and Nigeria run what is known as an Intelligence Fusion Centre. With the BH-related linkages between our Far North and Mali, Chad, Cameroon and Niger, this is one goal to the good for us given the fact that Africans have a way of putting jingoism before regional security concerns. They would open up to US surveillance to ingratiate themselves to the Washington regime but wax jingoistic and get paranoid about sovereignty when Nigeria makes a move in that direction.

    The array of intelligence gathering hardware is filling out appropriately – NigeriaSat-X and NIGCOMSAT-1R have security applications, the Alenia Surveyor planes, the coastal radar system, drones and more DRONES. If it is okay for Niger, I am good to go on this one. Nigeria, based on existing arrangements and ties that bind, are almost certain to benefit even more from this than would Niger.

    Nigeria are US AFRICOM’s no. 1 Priority Nation. The USA also have only three bi-national commissions in sub-Saharan Africa for now..with Angola,South Africa and Nigeria. So this would only serve to deepen political, military and economic ties between the USA and Nigeria.

  3. beegeagle says:

    Yes ssir!!

    It is clear that this war is not going to be an affair for boys but like I said, this is our kind of war. Our weakest link would the desert operations which we can remedy by beginning now to raise desert warfare troops at our own local Desert Warfare Training Camp at Yusufari – deepen the skills sets and the experience shall come naturally, working alongside our Chadian and Nigerien neighbours who have mostly fought in the desert throughout their conflict histories,

    As for the following – Close Quarter Battles, Fighting in Built-Up Areas, Ambush Defeat, IED recognition and defeat, K9 teams, suicide bombings, we are right UP there…tenacious and combative. Even BH know it. Ours has been adjudged the most IED-intensive conflict in Africa – ahead of even Algeria and Somalia and as for suicide bombings, the foremost African testground since 2010 has been Nigeria as well. We have no point to prove. If they bring it on, we are equal to the task and are willing to allow our near-African neighbours learn, sitting by Nellie.

    The French know that their citizens might lose the appetite for this fight when it gets close, nasty and personal. With every French soldier KIA, the French might lose the appetite for the strange battles which are sure to come.
    The battle-hardened troops from Chad and Nigeria and desert-experienced Nigeriens are unlikely to be similarly encumbered

    That was why I said, DESERT WARFARE – let the Chadians and Nigeriens lead the charge – they have the skills while we have the fighting spirit. They provide two companies each while we provide one.

    Roles reversed and it becomes brutal urban warfare with IEDs, suicide bombers and gunfights inside built-up areas and we lead the charge. That has been our game from Monrovia to FREETOWN and now in our Far North.

    Even the article which you posted the hyperlink to have a clear idea of what we represent.


    ” But it also means that French forces
    could face a full-blown guerrilla insurgency punctuated by suicide bombings, homemade bombs and
    ambushes, tactics used in Afghanistan,
    Algeria and neighboring Nigeria. Many
    of the foreigners are veterans of these
    and other conflicts,according to Western diplomats and security analysts.”


    Too bad that the Algerians are not joining this fight with their complete combat profile in desert and urban warfare – twenty years on the bounce, buddy.

    Do not be surprised that the Ugandans, another durable urban fighting force in Africa who are not afraid to take casualties, just might show up in Mali with a 500-man battle group since they might sense an opportunity to acquire some real desert fighting experience.

  4. Saints says:

    Oga G8T did you just mention amebo.ha! Bros you fuck up.that amebo drone is still a work in progress.I know you cant wait to see it flying,leaving stories of victory in it wake..but still yet G8T still give the amebo bird time.

  5. Henry says:

    nigeria to spend 40million usd in mali, 900 troops 300 airforce personnel since deployed to mali. President GEJ

  6. Henry says:

    President Goodluck Jonathan hinted on Tuesday that Nigeria has committed $34 million (about N7 billion) on the immediate deployment of troops and logistics support to stop the activities of Islamic terrorists in Mali and return the country to order.

    He said he has also made additional $5million pledge to further help that country, even as Nigeria has already deployed 900 combat soldiers and 300 Air Force personnel to Mali as part of the African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA).

    The sum of US$5.5 million out of the N7 billion, according to him, had been used for the re-construction and refurbishment of a number of medical clinics in the military barracks of some of the Malian Defence and Security Forces, as part of the Security Sector Reform (SSR) intervention.

    Speaking at the Donors’ Conference held at the end of the 20th Ordinary Session of the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Tuesday, Jonathan explained that about $2million of the said amount has been spent on humanitarian relief and supplies, while the additional $5million pledge which was in response to the call for more donations, was a further expression of Nigeria’s commitment to the international effort to restore peace in Mali.

    The AU had set a target of $50 million, but the total pledges announced at the end of the conference was $455.53 million apart from other commitments made by the donors to contribute to the training of the Malian Defence Forces and other assistance

    President Jonathan said, “Nigeria has commenced the deployment of 900 combat soldiers and 300 Air Force personnel to Mali as part of AFISMA. Nigeria has so far provided about $32 million for the immediate deployment and logistic support for the troops.

    “Prior to this, Nigeria dispatched relief and humanitarian relief and supplies amounting to US$2 million and Nigeria has undertaken the re-construction and refurbishment of a number of clinics in the military barracks of some of the Malian Defence and Security Forces, as part of the Security Sector Reform (SSR) intervention to the tune of US$5.5 million.”

    He noted that Nigeria was part of the joint initiative being undertaken by the African Union (AU), Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS), the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) aimed at mobilizing adequate financial resources in support of the Malian Defense and Security Forces (MDSF) as well as African-led International Support Mission in Mali AFISMA.

    The president added that though this initiative would be considered as rather belated, given the rapidly unfolding events in Mali, it was better to start now than to wait even a day longer.

    “The collaboration between these four organizations on this initiative is a clear demonstration of international solidarity, sympathy and cooperation required for a definitive resolution of the Malian crisis which has serious international consequences”, he noted.

    • Bigbrovar says:

      I heard the presidential spoke man tweet about this. Sadly such gestures go largely unheard off. We have personals fixing Malian military clinics as we speak but such gestures will never be remembered.. It never happened.. Again we allow our efforts to go largely unnoticed thanks to our not been media savvy and lacking the knowledge or will to use the media to promote our good will.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s