Britain to send troops to Mali

Last Updated: Tue, Jan 29, 2013 15:00 hrs

London, Jan 29 (IANS) Britain will send around 240 military personnel to West Africa in a training role to aid the French-led mission against Islamist rebels in Mali, the government said Tuesday.

The prime minister's spokesperson said Britain would deploy about 40 personnel in a European Union training mission to help build the Malian army, and 200 British soldiers to Mali's neighbouring countries to assist in the training, Xinhua reported.

Britain has also offered to supply a ferry to help transport heavy equipment to French forces currently spearheading the fight against the Islamist militants.

However, the spokesperson said a British offer to establish a joint Anglo-French logistics headquarters in Mali to organise supplies for the French forces was not taken up by Paris.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has assured French President Francois Hollande that Britain was keen to help France in its military mission.

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