Chad planning to send 1,000 additional troops to Mali

TEHRAN, Dec. 18 (MNA) – Mali's foreign affairs ministry said that Chad plans to deploy 1,000 additional soldiers to Mali to reinforce its troops battling insurgents there, as France scales back its military presence in Africa's Sahel region.

Chadian soldiers make up nearly 1,400 of the United Nations' 13,000-troop peacekeeping forces in the north and central Mali, Reuters reported.

The upcoming deployment will reinforce those and other Chadian troops as former colonial ruler France scales back its 5,000-strong regional counter-terrorism mission known as Barkhane, Mali's foreign affairs ministry said in a statement late on Friday.

"The deployment is part of a bilateral framework at the request of the Government of Chad for reinforcing its contingent in Northern Mali following the reconfiguration of the Barkhane force," the ministry said in a statement.

French President Emmanuel Macron Friday canceled a Dec. 20-21 trip to Mali to visit French troops due to France's deteriorating health situation amid concerns over the spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.

RHM/PR

News Code 181918

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