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Iran Press TV

Nigeria to pull out troops from Mali

Iran Press TV

Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:13AM GMT

Nigeria says it will pull out part of its 1,200 troops from the UN mission stationed in Mali to address its own security issues.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said in a letter addressed to the head of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Ivorian Coast President Alassane Ouattara, on Thursday that the troops were needed to control the Boko Haram militant group in northern Nigeria.

"I received a letter from the president (Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria). It's because of the domestic situation in Nigeria. They are not withdrawing everyone. They are withdrawing part of the troops," Ouattara said.

On July 1, the United Nations Security Council approved the deployment of 12,600 UN peacekeeping troops to Mali.

France launched a war on resource-rich Mali in January under the pretext of halting the advance of rebel fighters in the country.

Meanwhile, security forces in Nigeria have been stretched thin since the president declared a state of emergency in mid-May, experts said.

Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a number of deadly gun and bomb attacks in various parts of Nigeria since 2009.

Over the past four years, violence in the north of Africa's most populous country has claimed the lives of about 3,600 people, including killings by the security forces.


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