Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

France's chronic unemployment problem

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Candidates Goodluck Jonathan and Mohamudu Buhari call for calm

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Anger at mental health stigmatisation after crash allegations

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Yemen, the Escalation; France's Three Way Race; Clarkson Shown the Exit (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Germanwings Crash; Co-pilot 'hid illness' on crash day (part 1)

Read more

#THE 51%

The extraordinary tale of the Egyptian mother who lived as a man

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: San Cristobal, Venezuela's tinderbox

Read more

FOCUS

Portugal: Anger at corruption scandals, one year after bailout

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

Bistronomy: Stylish and simple eating

Read more

Africa

Franco-German joint military brigade heads to Mali

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-02-19

Troops from a joint Franco-German military brigade will be sent to Mali, the force's first deployment to Africa, a statement said on Wednesday.

"France and Germany have decided to send elements of the Franco-German Brigade to Mali: the first deployment under the aegis of the EU and in an African location," a joint statement said following a security and defence meeting in Paris between the two countries.

It said the troops would be integrated into a European soldier-training mission in Mali  that was launched in February last year and which has already trained nearly 3,000 Malian forces.

The statement did not specify how many troops would be involved. But the two sides called for greater investment in helping reorganise and train troops in the West African nation, as well as in the police and other security forces.

The Franco-German brigade, which was set up in 1989 to increase military cooperation between the World War II-era foes, comprises some 4,800 troops based in both countries. Its soldiers have in the past been sent to Afghanistan and Kosovo.

The brigade is highly symbolic in nature, as it is difficult for both countries to deploy soldiers to hotspots jointly, given the different rules of engagement that govern each army.

Mali was thrown into chaos in 2012 when Tuareg separatist rebels launched an offensive in the northern desert helped by Islamist militants linked to al Qaeda after the country's president was toppled in a coup.

The Islamists took control of northern Mali, ruling it under a brutal vision of Islamic law until former colonial ruler France sent in troops to flush them out in January 2013. But the rebels are regrouping in the desert and remain an ever-present threat to security.

UN peacekeepers took over security in July last year from the Pan-African AFISMA military mission, which had been supporting the French troops.

France is winding down its deployment from a peak of around 5,000 soldiers but will keep 1,000 troops in Mali beyond the northern spring.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

 

Date created : 2014-02-19

  • FRANCE

    France revises counter-terrorism strategy in Africa

    Read more

  • FRANCE-MALI

    France in Mali: A year of hunting jihadists in West Africa

    Read more

  • EUROPE

    Why has the EU’s army never been deployed?

    Read more

COMMENT(S)