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French Armed Forces Operation Serval in Mali

 
 
Friday, January 18, 2013, 09:06 PM
 
France sends more armoured vehicles in Mali to answer the strong resistance of Islamist rebels.
French troops’ initial clashes with Islamist militants in Mali have shown that the desert fighters are better trained and equipped than France had anticipated before last week’s military intervention, French and other U.N. diplomats said.
     
French troops’ initial clashes with Islamist militants in Mali have shown that the desert fighters are better trained and equipped than France had anticipated before last week’s military intervention, French and other U.N. diplomats said.
Some of the militants are believed to have been trained and armed by the government of late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

     

The diplomats were speaking after French forces had their first encounters with Islamist fighters in recent days. The ground war appeared headed for escalation on Thursday as French troops surrounded the town of Diabaly, trapping rebels who had seized it three days ago.

French, Malian and African forces are facing off against an Islamist coalition that includes al Qaeda’s North African wing, AQIM, and the homegrown Ansar Dine and MUJWA militants. The motley mix of Tuareg rebels, Islamists and foreign jihadists has been united by the threat of foreign military intervention, which the Security Council called for last month.

Some of the militants are believed to have been trained and armed by the government of late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who was ousted and killed by rebels in a 2011 civil war.

     
In addition, some 150 French soldiers (with VAB and VBL armoured vehicles) and AMX-10RC 6x6 anti-tank reconnaissance armoured vehicles of the RICM (Marine Armoured Infantry Regiment) left the city of Poitiers for Mali.
In addition, some 150 French soldiers (with VAB and VBL armoured vehicles) and AMX-10RC 6x6 anti-tank reconnaissance armoured vehicles of the RICM (Marine Armoured Infantry Regiment) left the city of Poitiers for Mali.

     
According to some unverified sources, France could further increased the power of its military forces in Mali, with the deployment of 20 VBCI armored vehicles, the latest generation of armored infantry fighting vehicle. A significantly higher quantity compared to similar vehicles engaged in Afghanistan (12).

In addition, some 150 French soldiers (with VAB and VBL armoured vehicles) and AMX-10RC 6x6 anti-tank reconnaissance armoured vehicles of the RICM (Marine Armoured Infantry Regiment) left the city of Poitiers for Mali.

This deployment of force shows that the resistance of Islamist rebels is stronger than expected, and that France wants to quickly resolve this conflict, to prevent long and arduous war.
 
 
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