Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Malian army a shambles

23 April 2013, 07:18

Paris - The Malian army remains poor, corrupt and barely functional months after the launch of a European training mission to rebuild its strength, a French colonel said on Monday, urging a rapid payout of pledged donor funds.

The European Union approved in January a 15-month training mission to rebuild a badly paid and poorly equipped Malian army, with the aim of making it strong enough to fend off potential attacks by Islamist militants.

But nearly three months later, corruption remains the rule in its ranks, soldiers are unable to train and some €8m pledged by international donors at a conference in Addis Ababa have not reached the army.

"They're managing misery." Bruno Heluin, who runs training for Malian troops in the EU mission, told Le Monde daily.

"The international community says, 'We absolutely need to rebuild the Malian army'. But not a euro cent has been given to the Malian army ... even though 8 million euros were promised on 29 January at the Addis Ababa donor conference," he added.

France has begun to withdraw its 4 000-strong force from Mali after it intervened to help Malian forces drive back an offensive by Islamist militants who had seized two-thirds of the country in the desert north.

The UN Security Council is considering a draft resolution to approve the creation of a 12 600-strong UN peacekeeping force named Minusma, which would take over from a UN-backed African force currently in place.

However, peacekeepers would not remain indefinitely and donors have insisted that Mali's army be brought up to strength in order to defend against future attacks.

Instead Heluin said the army was getting on "day by day" as equipment donated by major powers proved unreliable, corrupt officers robbed their own army of transport vehicles and training remained impossible.

The army was nearly entirely dependent on outdated equipment donated by major powers including France, China, Russia and the United States - donations that had exacerbated its troubles rather than fix them, Heluin said.

"Since 2006, the Malians have ordered 800 pick-up trucks. Today, almost none remain," he said. Some of the trucks had been stolen outright, while others were picked over for parts.

- Reuters

Tags france mali

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...