U.S. plans to send military trainers to support African nations in Mali mission
Washington, United States (4E) – A day after Islamic militants attacked a gas refinery in Algeria and took hostage 41 foreigners, including seven Americans, the United States on Thursday disclosed its plans to send its first military trainers to help contributing African nations, which are fighting the Islamic militants in West African nation Mali.
The French ground troops have earlier joined Malian government troops in eliminating the militants from the northern Mali. The Economic Community of West African States is also assisting the Mali government in combating militants.
Talking to reporters, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said, “Just to advise that our first ACOTA teams are en route to Africa and they will be on the continent by the weekend to start that.”
She clarified that American troops would not land in Mali but assist the contributing nations in training and equipping African national militaries in providing humanitarian relief and carrying out peace support operations.
Referring to French request to support in Mali mission, White House spokesman Jay Carney said that Washington is already providing intelligence support.
“We have some unique airlift capability and we are working with the French to provide them support in moving troops and equipment, ” he said at a regular press briefing.