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Belgium Pledges Non-Military Support to Mali Operation

RIA Novosti

20:19 28/01/2013 MOSCOW, January 28 (RIA Novosti) - Belgium is ready to provide logistic and informational support to France’s military operation in Mali starting March 1, 2013, Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders said on Monday.

“Of course, there will be no military support,” he told journalists during his visit to Moscow.

He also thanked Moscow for supporting the UN Security Council resolution on Mali last October.

Mali, a French colony until 1960, is in turmoil since last March’s military coup, which triggered an uprising of separatist Tuareg tribes that seized control of the country’s south. France deployed a military force of about 2,000 personnel earlier this month to aid Mali’s government, whose army had been retreating before the attack of armed groups with ties to al-Qaeda.

The African-led Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA) has deployed 5,700 troops to the country. On Sunday, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) ruled to send additional troops to the country.

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