Mali: who is doing what?

France and UK are among several countries involved in operation against rebels in northern Mali


France has sent at least 750 troops to Mali and officials have said that number could be greatly increased if necessary. The first on the ground have been Foreign Legionnaires and marines. An armoured column has arrived in Bamako from Ivory Coast and is due to move north.

France is using four Mirage 2000D and four Rafale fighter jets, two C135 refuelling tankers, plus reconnaissance jets and a squadron of helicopter gunships armed with anti-tank missiles and cannon.

West Africa (Ecowas)

Nigeria will be sending 900 troops as part of a 3,300-strong west African force. The first Nigerian company is due to arrive on Wednesday, with hundreds more expected in the next few days. Burkina Faso will send 500 soldiers to Mali and another 500 to help seal the border. Senegal and Togo will also deploy 500 soldiers as part of the Ecowas force. Benin will send 300. Ivory Coast, Ghana, Niger and Guinea have also pledged troops. However, doubts have been raised over how long it will take to get the Ecowas force operational, and over its lack of training in extreme desert conditions.


Two C-17 transport aircraft, one of which has arrived in Mali, are being provided. The second, delayed by mechanical problems, arrived in Paris on Tuesday , and was due to take off for Mali in the evening. The Ministry of Defence said the UK contribution would last one week. No troops would be sent, but British troops could be involved in training the Malian army.


The Pentagon is contributing transport planes, air refuelling tankers, spy planes and drones. However, Pentagon officials told Foreign Policy magazine that legal obstacles had to be overcome before US planes could be deployed as Washington broke off relations with Mali after last year's coup.


Belgium is expected to contribute two C-130 transport planes and a medivac helicopter.


A C-17 is due to arrive in France en route to Mali.


"Logistics, medical or humanitarian support" have been offered, although it is not clear exactly what it will send.


Copenhagen has dispatched a C-130 transport plan to Bamako to help ferry troops and equipment.


Julian Borger and agencies

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