The Spanish government is involved in the war against al Qaeda in northern Mali

*Position schematic of the main armed groups in the region Azawad (Mali). / Graph: Manuel Martorell

A team coordination and planning of the Defence Staff (ADEM) is already working on preparations for a military intervention in northern Mali to fight Ansar Dine jihadist groups that control the most important towns of the Sahel zone and represent a new source of instability in West Africa. "We can not allow Al Qaeda threatens North Africa and reach our borders," he said cryptically on Friday, without being asked, Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo, in an interview with Cadena Ser Military sources explained to the Spanish participation in military intervention will be defined by the end of the year and will focus on training and logistical support.

The initial plan is to place on the ground a multinational force of 3,500 soldiers to stop the advance of Dine Ansar fighters, who already control the populations of Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu and caused massive population displacement after the confrontation, in July past, with the Tuareg National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad region (MNLA).

The international mission objective is to eliminate terrorist camps of al Qaeda in the Sahel and restore control of the authorities in Bamako on the poorest and most extensive in the country, in which one million people survive. The mission will be presented for adoption by the United Nations on Monday, November 26. And from there, the Spanish government will consider requests for support.

Defence Minister Peter Morenés, explained that "Spain has responsibility and interest in the stability of Mali and is open to collaboration be asked." Participation must be previously approved by Congress. In principle, the military deployment will be borne by the Economic Community of West African States (CEDACO), and the support of Spain and France, the former colonial power, would be limited to training and logistics troops participating countries.

*An image if Iyad ag Ghali date from, identified the web as Tuareg leader Asnar Dine.

Morenés met Thursday in Paris with colleagues in France, Italy, Poland and Germany to revive the European initiative and defended the removal of half of the Spanish contingent in Lebanon "because the mission has been completed and it is necessary to allocate these troops to other scenarios ", which did not specify. Also contemplated withdrawal from Afghanistan in more than half of the contingent of 1,200 troops next year. The phased withdrawal will end in December 2014, according to the timetable set by NATO.

With the ambiguity of the case required, Morenés also forwarded a response to written parliamentary deputy Barkos Uxue that tells you "when a decision is made on the international mission in Mali, Spain duly consider the possibility and appropriateness of a possible accompany enabling support African efforts, under UN mandate, have as their goal to end the presence of terrorist groups in the Sahel ". Our country has an embassy in Bamako and maintains minimal cooperation, estimated at 13 million euros of official development assistance in 2011, of which 34% were contributions of autonomies and municipalities for education and health.

So far the main experience in the area is derived from the Spanish participation in the European Union mission police nature and therefore civil, deployed on 1 August in Niger in order to strengthen the capabilities of forces Nigerian security in the fight against terrorism and organized crime. Control of Niger, from near Gao, in northern Mali to Nigeria, is considered strategic for economic reasons. Note that Mali and Nigeria have major gold reserves on the continent. In northern Mali, Spain is interested in preserving the Sahrawi camps in Algeria and the Sahara territory jihadist penetration. "We will not be the border of Al Qaeda," he repeated in Cadiz the foreign minister, Garcia Margallo.