ECOWAS forces poised for early deployment in Mali
--Senegal, Nigeria & Niger commit troops
A sub-regional force code named, the ECOWAS Mission in Mali (MICAM) will shortly be deployed in the West African nation, "to stabilize and to strengthen" the institutions of transitional government in Bamako, and also support the Malian army."
Mali has been plunged into instability since early this year, with a rebel war in the north and a military coup in the capital, Bamako. Amidst a rebel onslaught in the north, an army Captain Amadou Sanogo and a group of soldiers initially staged a mutiny last March which was later converted into the overthrow of former President Amadou Toumani Toure, who later fled into exile in neighboring Senegal. But while the coup makers were trying to settle down, the various rebel groups intensified their operation and captured the entire northern region in April.
Finding the junta unacceptable, ECOWAS brokered a deal with the coup makers to restore constitutional order, with a civilian interim regime now in office headed by former Speaker of parliament Dioucounda Traore, but Mali remains partitioned with the rebels declaring independence for the northern Azawad region but the country’s armed forces unable to flush out the rebels who have now imposed Sharia law in the north.
However, as WADR’s Abidjan Correspondent Suy Kahofi reports military chief of member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) fine tuned some details of the plan to deploy the force at their just ended meeting in the Ivory Coast.
The military Chiefs took important decisions, such as the creation of the ECOWAS Mission in Mali (MICEMA), with the deployment of more than 3,270 troops.
Regarding the deployment of this sub regional taskforce, the chairman of the Abidjan meeting, General Soumaila Bakayoko, Chief of Staff of the Ivory Coast armed forces stated that due to the emergency situation, three approaches have been chosen.
First, the ECOWAS Mission in Mali (MICEMA) will be deployed in the South, especially in Bamako to help the government restore constitutional order and handle the security of Malian officials.
The second stage will be to help rebuild the Malian army and make it operational
The third stage of the deployment of the ECOWAS Mission in Mali (MICEMA) is the recovery of Northern Mali, which fell into the hands of the MNLA rebels, Ansar Dine and its Jihadist allies, Al Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQMI).
The contribution of each country in troops is unknown but the main donors of the force have answered the call of the acting ECOWAS chairman.
Nigeria, Senegal and Niger will send a large number of troops. But every country will contribute to the peace efforts in Northern Mali to show the spirit of solidarity, under which this mission has been launched.
Starting this Monday, some elements of the Headquarters of the ECOWAS standby taskforce will be in Mali to organize joint briefings with their Malian counterparts.
The objective of these inter army meetings in Bamako will be to finalize the modalities of the joint deployment on the fields of operation.Tweet