African Union: Western Nations to Bankroll Mali Invasion

Britain, Others Expected to Fund African-Led War

With the African Union still working to finalize its battle plan for invading Mali, a war that is widely expected to begin in early 2013, Western nations are being pressed to endorse the war not just diplomatically, but to bankroll it financially.

“The force will be something like 3,200 soldiers, from West Africa mostly, and we know that we will need help from our brothers and sisters in the West to pay for it,” noted one AU diplomat.

The invasion is being hyped by a number of Western nations, particularly France, as a vital anti-terror operation. With Islamist fighters flocking to northern Mali to repel the invasion, it could be a protracted, and costly battle.

Which likely suits the AU just fine, so long as someone else is footing the bill. Some AU nations like Burundi have built a significant portion of their economy around participating in UN-endorsed wars, deploying troops who are paid by foreign powers then heavily taxing them to fill their coffers.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of