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Chad to deploy 1,000 troops to Mali

Chad intends to contribute 1,000 troops to the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) – a move that will largely reverse a reduction in its commitment earlier this year.

Agence France-Presse on 18 December cited a letter from Mali's UN ambassador to the UN Security Council saying his country had agreed to Chad's contribution of 1,000 soldiers to MINUSMA.

The Malian Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement the previous day noting reports that Chad would commit 1,000 troops to MINUSMA.

“The said deployment is part of a bilateral framework, and is at the request of the government of the Republic of Chad,” the statement said. “Chad wishes to reinforce its contingent in northern Mali following the reconfiguration of the Barkhane force in order to face the challenges and protect its troops deployed in the area.”

France's Operation ‘Barkhane' completed its withdrawal from its three main bases in northern Mali earlier in December. Paris has argued that this will not create a security vacuum as MINUSMA will maintain a large presence in the north of the country.

UN figures show Chad withdrew 1,425 troops from MINUSMA in October, leaving 39 Chadian police and staff officers serving with the mission. This left MINUSMA with 12,789 military personnel on 31 October, not far below its authorised strength of 13,289.

N'Djamena also announced on 21 August that it would withdraw 600 troops from the G5 Sahel Joint Force that was established to counter militants in the Sahel region. At the time, French military spokesperson Colonel Pascal Ianni told Radio France Internationale that the Chadians were withdrawing an inappropriate unit.

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