US Donates Equipment to Malian Army in Terrorism FightOctober 31, 2011
The United States has donated a consignment of equipment to the Malian Army under the Trans-Sahara Counter Terrorism Partnership that aims to fight the spread of terrorism.
The donation, said to cost 4.5 billion Francs CFA, comprises 44 pick-ups, 18 trucks and six ambulances, uniforms, radio sets and spare parts was turned over to the Malian military authorities last weekend.
Under the security cooperation between the United States and Mali, the Americans have undertaken to strengthen the operational capacity of the Malian army with equipment and personnel training.
"In the face of the new security threats, Mali and the United States of America share the same concerns, defend the same values and have the same fight," declared Mali’s Minister of Defense, Natié Pléa, at the handover ceremony.
Pléa said the two-fold benefits of the donation are enhancing the operational capacity of the Malian armed forces "to determinedly fight against terrorism in all its forms ", and "to improve the performance of the army units in their mission to secure the country".
The supply of equipment to the Malian army by the US comes one week after the arrival in Mali of some 400 ex-fighters loyal to the late Libyan leader Moamar Kadhafi with more than 80 tons of heavy weapons.
According to Malian and Mauritanian military sources, a significant amount of military weapons and ammunitions, including American-made missiles, has fallen into the hands of the terrorist group Al-Qaida in the Islamic Mahgreb.