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Senegal's president says can not send more troops to Mali
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2013-01-27 16:34

Senegalese President Macky Sall said here Saturday his country can't send more troops to Mali for the moment since a considerable number of Senegal servicemen are on peacekeeping missions in many parts of the continent.

"More than 800 of our men are in Cote d'Ivoire. We are in Guinea-Bissau. We are in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We are in Sudan. We will be in Mali. And we can not do more since we also have internal security requirements and our military can not be everywhere," said the president.

Sall, who arrived here for the 20th Summit of the African Union (AU) scheduled for Sunday and Monday, had earlier pledged 500 troops for the international mission in Mali. The first 60 Senegalese soldiers arrived in Mali on Jan. 20

"The Mali issue highlights the problem of security and defense in Africa. This is certainly a topic that heads of state will discuss so that Africa could give herself the means of self-defense against the disasters such as what we have seen in Mali," he said.

Thanks to the intervention of France and other partners, the Malian army has only recently reversed its weeks of retreat from the rebels who have taken control of large areas in the north of the country.

Sall believed the establishment of the African Standby Force(ASF), a proposal put forward by some African leaders in 2010, would put African countries on a better footing in case of a security threat.

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