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Serval operation. A Danish C130 in Mali. German logistical aid… And Belgium (Maj3)

(BRUSSELS2) The French operation in Mali is beginning to take on a distinctly European flavor. Following the UK on Sunday, Danish Defense confirmed late afternoon today (14 January) the dispatch of a C-130 Hercules transport aircraft from the Aalborg Detachment to Mali in support of the French operation. Germany confirms providing logistical and medical support (very useful). And Belgium must decide tomorrow whether to send a C-130.

Parliamentary agreement in Denmark

The Danish government has today received the agreement of the Foreign Affairs Committee (of the national parliament) that " Denmark can support the French-led operation in Mali with a Hercules transport plane and the necessary support personnel”, says the official press release. This plane could leave tomorrow. This Danish aid is in addition to the British aid confirmed on Sunday and that - more civil and humanitarian - from Germany. It could also relate to a possible supply of ammunition (laser guided bombs) even if this information could not be confirmed to us in Copenhagen.

German logistic support

Berlin could also provide Operation Serval with logistical (*) and medical support. " We have agreed within the federal government to open a dialogue with France to find out to what extent we can support the French commitment beyond sending combat troops, for example politically, logistically , or humanitarian or medical said Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle today after a meeting with his French counterpart L. Fabius. Whether "the commitment of German units (Nb: combat units) is not on the agenda "as the Minister specified, " it is clear that Germany will not leave France alone summed up Andreas Peschke, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

(*) We can usefully recall that most German transport aircraft - like Dutch, Belgian and French - are operated in "pool" and managed in a common command (EATC) in Eindhoven

A picture is worth all the talk

Just as telling as this statement by the German Minister, the front page of the German Foreign Office website speaks volumes. Taking a photo of French soldiers embarking for the operation in Mali, he describes "international support for Mali"...

A committed Belgian C-130

After a bit of a reluctance, the Belgian government should decide on Tuesday (January 15) whether to send (or not) C-130 Hercules as reinforcements to carry out transport missions. (UPDATE) According to information released on Tuesday, Belgium will in fact send not one but two C-130s and two A109 helicopters for medical support. Seventy-five Belgian soldiers will thus be deployed in this African country. A C-130 is already in the region (in fact, it is already in Chad, having already made at least one rotation within the framework of the aircraft pooling system set up between the Benelux countries, France and the Germany = EATC). A second plane will depart on Wednesday (January 16). For Pieter de Crem, it is logical " My French counterpart is asking for both strategic and tactical support for transport in Mali. The two C-130s will bring troops there from neighboring countries. We will also provide medical support. This mission is not limited to a few days. " No duration is thus fixed for the mission. ” we specify to the Belgian Defense. NB: it is not excluded that this helicopter aid could continue, in particular in the form of medical support for the EUTM Mali operation.

A bet about to be won: the European "color"

Comment: Is the bet of the French government not to carry out a solo operation only on the way to being won? Without a doubt. But we can notice that the first to answer... were precisely the countries which either are not parties to the PeSDC (Denmark) or are hostile to it (United Kingdom).

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).