Updated:Nigeria, Niger ,Senegal Deploy Troops to Mali



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In the aftermath of the deterioration of the  security  situation in Mali, at least three West African Countries are known to have deployed troops on Saturday  to  the country.

Highly placed sources told Newsdiaryonline.com that Nigeria,Niger and Senegal have deployed  troops to Mali. “Some of the troops  scheduled for the military intervention are already on ground” according to  a diplomatic source.

Troops from Niger are believed to have been  airlifted to Mali  help from  France.Nigerian troops were airlifted with  the military C-130 plane.Sources said  500 Nigerien troops may have been deployed.The exact number of Nigerian troops could not be confirmed immediately but sources said there may be about  500 troop from Nigeria at this initial  stage.

West Africa now appears to be playing catch up after France seized the initiative by deploying soldiers yesterday.Nigeria-based Centre for Democracy and Development,CDD had in a statement on Saturday  by its Director, Dr Jibrin Ibrahim said it was  time for ECOWAS to act.

Reports said France has already lost a pilot in Mali.But the French authorities who surprised watchers with this military action, contrary to their well-known position to merely give support are now insisting that the action was justified as the Malian rebels represent a threat to the West African  sub region.The rebels must not take over Bamako, the country’s capital,France has said.

Fresh information reaching Newsdiaryonline.com late Saturday night suggested that the United Kingdom has offered to support the Mali operation with the airlift of troops from any of the countries in the region.Also it was gathered that Burkina Faso has deployed 500 troops to Mali as well.

Meanwhile,sources said the Nigerian troops already deployed include Army and Air support units.The  use of air support units was very effective in ECOMOG’s battle against Liberian rebels in the past.It is hoped that the same feat would be repeated now.But insiders  are conscious of the fact that the terrain and the scenario in Mali are different.


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