Britain mulls sending hundreds of troops to Mali: reports
- Tamil Nadu crisis LIVE updates: Palanisami gets invite to form govt, Panneerselvam camp to move EC
- Tamil Nadu crisis: Edappadi Palanisamy invited to form government, swearing-in likely at 4.30 pm today
- In Afghanistan, families from Kerala try to build Islamic State
- ‘Pak flags anti-national’: Tough action if you obstruct us, Army chief to Valley residents
- Kaithi No. 9234: Sasikala sleeps on floor, shares cell in Bengaluru jail
Britain is considering sending about 200 non-combat troops to help the military operation against Islamist militants in Mali, with a decision expected within days, media reports said today.
This would likely include a small number deployed to Mali itself, as part of an EU training mission. A larger number would help train West African forces to join the battle alongside the French and Malian troops.
Prime Minister David Cameron called President Francois Hollande on Sunday to say Britain was "keen" to provide further help to French forces in Mali.
But his Downing Street office declined to give more details other than to stress that, as 10 years of conflict in Afghanistan finally approached its end, Britain would not be
deploying combat troops to another warzone.
Asked about the latest reports today, a Downing Street spokeswoman said: "We're not commenting on troops on the ground."
Amid reports that an announcement could come later today, or at least within the coming days, she said planning for further assistance "really depends on the discussions with the French".
Britain's national security advisor Kim Darroch was in Paris yesterday for talks on what London could do to help, after already sending a Sentinel surveillance plane and two C-17 transport planes to assist French forces.
The Guardian and Mirror newspapers said the 200 troops would include tens deployed as part of an EU mission to train Malian forces, the rest in neighbouring countries to help train a regional intervention force.
Nearly 8,000 African troops from Chad and the west African grouping ECOWAS are expected to take over from the French troops, which went in 19 days ago.
The 500-strong EU mission will provide instruction to the Malian army on command and control, logistics, civilian protection and humanitarian law. It will have no combat role and be made up of soldiers from 10 EU nations.
- Demand for quotas by powerful groups draws on perceptions, does injustice to truly disadvantaged
- It is time for courts to re-imagine judicial procedures and build digital solutions to fix logjam
- Governor’s role in the Tamil Nadu drama revives questions about the politicisation of the office
- Petroleum and health ministries need to push access to LPG, promote its use
- Trump’s Islamophobia will play an ominous role in reshaping the strategic map of the Middle East
- Migration helps increase world income and benefits the host country’s economy