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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 clear European color. After the United Kingdom on Sunday, Danish Defense confirmed today (January 14) late afternoon the dispatch of a C-130 Hercules transport plane from the Aalborg detachment to Mali in support of 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 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”, specifies 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 munitions (laser-guided bombs) even if this information could not be confirmed to us in Copenhagen.

German logistic support

Berlin could also provide logistical (*) and medical support to Operation Serval. “ 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 », declared Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle today after an interview with his French counterpart L. Fabius. If "the commitment of German units (Nb: combat units) is not on the agenda » as the minister clarified, “ it is clear that Germany will not leave France alone summed up Andreas Peschke, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

(*) It may be useful to recall that most German transport aircraft – like Dutch, Belgian and French – are operated in a “pool” and managed in a common command (EATC) in Eindhoven.

A picture is worth all the talk

Just as telling as this statement from the German minister, the first page of the website of the German Foreign Ministry is eloquent. Taking a photo of French soldiers embarking for the operation in Mali, he describes “international support for Mali”…

A committed Belgian C-130

After having hesitated a little, 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 as well as two A109 helicopters intended for medical support. Seventy-five Belgian soldiers will be deployed in this African country. A C-130 is already in the region (in fact, it is already in Chad, having already done at least one rotation as part of the aircraft pooling system set up between the Benelux countries, France and the 'Germany = EATC). A second plane will leave on Wednesday (January 16). For Pieter de Crem, it’s 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 cannot be ruled out that this helicopter aid could continue, particularly in the form of medical support for the EUTM Mali operation.

A bet about to be won: European “color”

Comment: Is the French government's bet not to carry out a solo operation about to be won? Without a doubt. But we can notice that the first to respond... were precisely the countries which are either 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).