Germany will participate in the airlift of Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) troops to Mali. German Defense Minister Thomas de Maizière and Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle today announced that two Luftwaffe C-160 Transall transport aircraft will be sent to Mali to airlift ECOWAS troops to the capital, Bamako.
Niger, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Benin, Togo and Nigeria plan to deploy an African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA) numbering up to 3,300 troops to support the Malian army and French troops in their fight against rebels.
De Maizière said the Luftwaffe deployment was too small to require a mandate from the Bundestag, the German parliament. But he added that if the situation changes and Germany participates in an EU mission to training the Malian army, a mandate would be necessary.