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British reinforcement for the operation in Mali

A first C17 transport plane is expected to leave the United Kingdom this afternoon (archives – credit: RAF Royal Air Force)

(BRUSSELS2) London was quick to publicly match words with actions. Downing Street has just confirmed that the United Kingdom will provide logistical support to the French forces engaged in Mali. Two C-17 planes should thus assist the French in material and logistical transport. The first C17 will leave British territory this afternoon and make a stopover in France before leaving for Mali, Skynews, the TV channel, has just announced. It should make it possible to transport equipment and men either directly to Bamako or to N'Djamena – which serves as a logistical base and FHQ for the French operation “Serval”. It should also make it possible to transport the troops and equipment of the MISMA forces, made up of ECOWAS troops (Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Senegal) to the site.

Telephone interview

The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, spoke on Saturday evening with President François Hollande, we confirm at 10 Downing Street (joined by B2). “The Prime Minister spoke to President Hollande to discuss the deteriorating situation in Mali and see how the UK can support French military assistance provided to the Malian government to contain rebels and extremist groups in the north of the country. (…) Military logistical assistance (will be provided) to help transport foreign troops and equipment quickly to Mali. » « No British troops should fight on the ground” we specify in London. This logistical assistance will begin with strategic range transport aircraft (C17 type) but could be accompanied by other aircraft (C-130). And, even if the “10” does not directly confirm the involvement of the British intelligence services, they are also mobilized, according to our information.

National Security Council meeting (UK) Tuesday

In a more political way, the two leaders discussed the situation in Mali — “ a real threat to international security given terrorist activity » — and “the need to work with the Malian government, neighboring countries and international partners to prevent the development of a new terrorist haven at the gates of Europe”. The question of “ relaunch the political process conducted under the aegis of the UN, once the advance of the rebels has been stopped was also mentioned. The National Security Council should meet on Tuesday in London to " to examine the situation in Mali and discuss what needs to be done to achieve a lasting political settlement in Mali.

 

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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