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.


Nigeria to start withdrawing troops from Mali

31 July 2013, 07:31

Abuja - Nigeria will Wednesday begin withdrawal of some of its troops from Mali because they are needed back home, where the country is battling a deadly Islamist insurgency, officials said Tuesday.

It was not clear how many troops would be pulled from the west African nation, where Nigeria currently has some 1,000 troops, spokesman of the defence headquarters, Brigadier General Chris Olukolade said in a statement.

"The defence headquarters will tomorrow (Wednesday) commence the withdrawal of some Nigerian troops from the Peace Support Operations in Mali," it said.

"The troops are mainly those not accommodated in the structures of the newly formed United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). They are to join the ongoing internal security operations in the country."

The action followed "the rehatting and takeover" by the UN of the mission from African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA)," it stated.

"Some of the soldiers will be redeployed immediately," it added.

Nigeria will sustain its commitment and contribution to the Mali operation in other forms, such as input of "sizeable men and materials" to the mission, it said, without giving further details.

Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara, chair of the 15-nation west African bloc ECOWAS, told reporters earlier this month that the withdrawal was because Nigeria needed its soldiers back home.

"It's because of the domestic situation," Ouattara said after an ECOWAS summit in the Nigerian capital Abuja.

However, a military source had said troops would pull out because the country, which has the biggest military in west Africa, felt "shabbily treated" under the new UN force in Mali.

A Nigerian commanded the previous African-led force in the country, but the UN mission is being headed by a Rwandan.

The UN mission integrates more than 6,000 west African soldiers into its ranks and is charged with ensuring security during and after July 28 elections in Mali.

It is to grow to 11,200 troops, plus 1,400 police, by the end of the year.

Nigeria approved the deployment of 900 troops with the capacity to increase to 1,200 under the previous African-led force.

Nigeria's military has been stretched thin back home.

Bomb blasts late Monday ripped through a mainly Christian area of Kano, the largest city in the north, killing 24 people, an official said, and shattering a recent lull in insurgent attacks there.

The military blamed the attack on suspected members of Islamist extremist group Boko Haram.

Violence linked to an insurgency by the Islamist extremist group, mainly in Nigeria's north, has left some 3,600 people dead since 2009, including killings by the security forces.




Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
1 comment
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...