Berlin - Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet has approved a
plan to send up to 330 German military personnel to Mali to help train the
country's soldiers and provide logistical support.
The plan passed on Tuesday, which still needs parliament's
approval, does not authorise any German participation in combat operations.
Up to 180 soldiers will be part of the European Union's task
force of about 500 that is being sent from nations across the 27-nation bloc to
help train the Malian army.
Its goal is to make that army good enough to patrol the
whole country, including its huge northern region, where French and African
troops are fighting to unseat Islamist rebels.
The decision allows for up to 150 Germans to take part in
ongoing aerial transport and refuelling operations.