Mali to Host 3,000 Foreign Troops for War Against North

Traore Agrees to Deployment to Reclaim Azawad

Malian President Dioncounda Traore has endorsed a new plan to construct a military base that will host some 3,000 foreign troops from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in the capital city of Bamako, along with an unspecified number of foreign police.

The move comes after weeks of negotiation, with Traore and others endorsing military aid but until now stopping short of foreign ground troops, with an eye toward reclaiming the northern half of the country.

The Malians lost the northern half of the country, called Azawad, to Tuareg secessionists earlier this year, and the Tuaregs were themselves routed by the Ansar Dine movement, an al-Qaeda-style group hoping to establish a theocracy in the region.

It is unclear which nations in ECOWAS will deploy for the Malian war, but the Nigerian government is seen as keen on intervention. Algeria, on the other hand, has been opposed to foreign intervention in Mali.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.