Ethiopia: Donor’s conference on Mali nets USD455m
Africa-led International Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA) – A total of US$455.53 million has been pledged for the international intervention force in Mali and the country’s military, following a donors’ conference
jointly organised here Tuesday by the African Union (AU), ECOWAS and the UN.
The amount fell short of of the US$959 million being sought to fund the Africa-led International Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA) and the Malian defence forces that are battling armed Islamist groups in northern Mali.
Out of the amount being sought, US$603 million will be used to finance AFISMA operations while US$345 million will be used to assist the Malian Defence Forces.
The pledges include Gambia’s US$1 million in addition to troop contributions; US$2 million each by Senegal, Benin, Niger and Cote d’Ivoire; Ghana US$3 million; Morocco US$5 million; US$40 by France (to the UN Trust Fund for Mali), in addition to equipment worth US$7 million; EU’s Euro 50 million and the US, US$96 million
The other notable contributions included Germany (US$20 million and equipment worth US$17 million); China (US$1 million); United Kingdom (3 million Pounds sterling and 200 military trainers); India (US$1 million), and Algeria (US$10 million).
Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan said his country had provided US$32 million to support the deployment of the troops and set aside US$2 million for humanitarian aid in Mali.
In addition, Nigerian has offered US$5.5 million to refurbish Malian military clinics.
“Our support is a continuous process,” President Jonathan said.
There were logistical pledges too, including Sweden’s 40-hour flights to lift troops, a pledge to release US$24 million held by Belgium in aid to Mali; Japan’s US$120 million commitment to the West African region; Canada’s pledge of US$13 million plus airlifting of troops and Luxemburg’s pledge of US$5.5 million and training to the Malian forces.
Ethiopia pledged logistical support worth US$5 million while South Africa pledged US$10 million and another Euros 10 million worth of humanitarian support.
According to a financial budget presented by ECOWAS, a total of 8,000 troops will be required immediately, and the troop contributing countries are required to support their own contingents for at least 80 days pending the availability of funds.
AFISMA will require six combat helicopters, two reconnaissance helicopters and two transport helicopters, in addition to a 2,800-strong air force.
ECOWAS Defence Chiefs Chairman Soumaila Bakayoko said immediate deployments were required to stop the terrorists from re-grouping and engaging in guerrilla tactics after they must have been routed from the north.