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African troops need $460m for operations in Mali
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2013-01-27 16:34

About 460 million U.S. dollars are needed for the operations of the troops to be deployed by African countries in Mali, according to delegates attending the preparatory meetings for the African Union (AU) summit to be held here on Sunday.

There is an additional need of 300 million dollars for the restructuring of Mali national army, they said.

The sum will be put on the table at the donors' conference scheduled for Tuesday in Addis Ababa, following the AU summit on Sunday and Monday, which is set to be dominated by the crisis in Mali.

With 3,300 troops to be sent by member states of the Economic Community of the West African States (ECOWAS), a regional entity to which Mali belongs, the International Mission of Support in Mali (MISMA) force just started its deployment to help liberate the north of Mali from rebel groups control.

Chad has promised to send 2,000 soldiers and Burundi has confirmed its readiness to join without giving exact number of soldiers.

The estimated financial need of 460 millions dollars includes the spending relative to the Chadian troops, director of the AU peace and security department, Wane el Ghassim, told Xinhua.

In order to mobilize such huge resources, the AU has call on the whole international community, to bring forth even "symbolic contributions" in favor of Mali, "whose attachment to pan-Africanism and to the continental causes has never failed in the past half century of independence," said AU commissioner of peace and security, Lamamra Ramtane.

For Ramtane, the resolution adopted by the UN Security Council in October stipulates a global approach with various measures to be taken for a way out of the political and security crisis that Mali is now undergoing, and it has a vocation to structurize all the actions of the continent and the rest of the world.

Authorized by the UN resolution adopted on Dec. 20, the deployment of the MISMA for one year should be followed by the training and restructuring of the Mali forces, and the restoration of authority of the Mali state all over the national territory.

At a mini-summit of the AU Peace and Security Council on Friday evening, Ramtane renewed his call on the UN Security Council to "authorize without delay the organization of the support mechanism ... so as to grantee a predictable, stable, sufficient and durable financing for MISMA."

However, for the moment, the UN engagement in Mali stays political, Herve Ladsous, deputy secretary general in charge of the UN's peace-keeping missions, told Xinhua Saturday.

"We are not asked to send peacekeepers in this case. There are the countries of the region who have decided to mobilize. We are supporting them. We will actively participate in the donors' conference to be held next Tuesday," Ladsous said.

As to UN financial assistance requested by the AU, "it is up to the decision of the Security Council. We take orders from the Security Council. We cannot use the funds by ourselves (without orders), but I think the attitude is very open," he said.

According to him, "the Secretary-General (of the United Nations) has made proposals, based on which the Security Council will pronounce on the issue of logistical support that we would provide to ECOWAS troops engaged on the ground."

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is to attend the AU summit.

Source:Xinhua 
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