Official:Nigeria Annouces Deployment of Troops to Mali Within 24 Hours

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Within the next 24 hours some   Nigerian troops   will be  in Mali,a  spokesman of the Defence Headquarters,Col Mohammed Yerima  said on Tuesday.The spokesman said president Goodluck Jonathan has already given approval for the deployment of troops.Reports said  about 200  troops are expected to move in .But earlier reports said Nigeria  may have pledged 500 soldiers. The spokesman said  the Force Commander Major-General Umar Abdulkadir is already on ground in Mali.

Speaking  to diplomats  on Monday ,President Jonathan said troops would  be in Mali before next week.He announced that a technical team was already on ground.

The Defence headquarters said the men on ground already  include army  and air force officers  as had reported at the weekend.  further learnt that the bulk of those going to Mali may be made up of soldiers with experience in Darfur,Sudan.This is because the Malian terrain  which is  largely desert-like may be familiar to those who have been to Darfur earlier.Also ,it was learnt that some of the soldiers going to Mali have gone through some simulation training in a Sahelian part of North East Nigeria ahead of the troops’ deployment to Mali.

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