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ECOWAS storms Mali with 3200 troops

The United Kingdom pledges necessary support to complement the effort


Nigeria, on Tuesday, announced a deployment of no fewer than 3200 ECOWAS troops to the crisis-ridden Mali in the bid to restore peace in the country.

The political transition in the country has become elusive due to some faceless terrorists who have kept Northern Mali under severe attacks.

The United Kingdom pledges necessary support to complement the effort.

Speaking in Abuja, the acting Minister of Defence, Erelu Dr Olusola Agbeja Obada, told the visiting Special Envoy to the British Prime Minister on the Sahel, Mr. Stephen O-Brien (MP) that the ECOWAS Heads of State have resolved to send the troops in order to guarantee peace and security in the affected part of the troubled nation.

 According to her, the menace of terrorism in the Northern Mali has been “a great concern not only to everyone in the sub-region but also to the International Community.”

She lamented how the terrorists are making life difficult in the area and how the proposed election could not be held to allow every part of the country to be involved.

The minister was optimistic that the military intervention was an enforcement of the UN Revolution 2071 as resolved by the ECOWAS Heads of State in the region adding, “the resolution has been forwarded to the UN through the African Union.”

The minister explained to the British delegation that until the crisis is resolved, the possibility of conducting election in the country would be impossible.

“It would not be proper to hold election in the South and leaving the whole North out of it. If the election would hold, it has to be in the whole country,’’ She said.

While soliciting for international support, Obada thanked the British government for its unflinching support.

Earlier in his address, Mr. O-Brien appreciated the role Nigeria is playing in the sub-region, pointing out that it was the same reason that made the UK government resolved to contact the country on what could be done to assist in the restoration of peace in the Northern Mali.

He told newsmen that whatever assistance his country would give would largely be determined by Nigeria.

The envoy promised to seek further help from the International Community. Among the top brass of the military officers who attended the occasion were the Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Air Staff, representatives of the Chief of Naval Staff, and directors in the ministry.

Culled from Daily Times.

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