Spain sent a plane "Hercules" transport troops to Africa to Mali

The Council of Ministers approved a share of "between 40 and 50 soldiers" to future training mission EU

The Council of Ministers has adopted an agreement, which must be endorsed by the Congress of Deputies, by which Spain will contribute to the mission in Mali France leads a Hercules C-130, in order to transport military African countries the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) to the Malian capital, Bamako.

Furthermore, Spain will contribute to future training mission EU (EUTM "Mali" of the African forces' between 40 and 50 soldiers, "as already announced Morenés Minister, in an interview on ABC, on 6 January by the Pascua Militar.

Spain also facilitate the transit of military aircraft of EU member countries and NATO are involved in the operation in Mali (both the mission of France and European training), as approved by the agreement of the Cabinet.

United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, USA and Canada are already working with the French Government on a mission initiated by the government of François Hollande day 11 after receiving a request from the Government of Mali. Now we have to add Spain, and perhaps Italy, which is still deciding how to participate in Operation "Serval".
Morenés Minister explained that this mission "is very important for the general interests of Spain. A Jihadism in Mali infects neighboring countries such as Algeria, Mauritania and Morocco to Spain extremely important. "

February 15, key meeting in Brussels

The Council of Ministers also adopted a measure to appoint a permanent ambassador to the affairs of the Sahel. Morenés announced that tomorrow there will be a meeting in Abidjan (Ivory Coast) where African countries address their participation, there will be a summit of the African Union from 24 to 26 January in Addis Abebba (Ethiopia) and will be held on February 15 conference donors in Brussels to provide the EU mission.

African forces were "military efficiency does not take much to face groups that have been involved in other conflicts such as Libya or Afghanistan, with a highly advanced combat doctrine and purpose to achieve their goals," said the defense minister who assessed the risks that a country like Mali "has been divided into two: the north invaded by forces of Islamic jihadism and south trying to keep the country united."

Spain sent "between 40 and 50 soldiers" to Mali

Between 40 and 50 military trainers will travel to Mali to participate in the training mission of the European Union (EUTM) in the African country that was passed yesterday in Brussels. This was announced by the Minister of Defence, Peter Morenés, in the press conference after the Council of Ministers which was held this morning at the Moncloa Palace. "Spain is obliged to participate in Mali and that's what we will do," he underlined Morenés. "Mali is very close to Spain and it is a regional strategic complication," he added.

The Spanish military EUTM participate in Mali along with troops from other European armies, "but not for combat actions" as he assured Morenés, reiterating what was said yesterday by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel García Margallo, and he announced himself in his Dec. 27 appearance before the Defence Committee of the Congress.

"The mission of the Spanish contingent, which deployed in the African country, will be to contribute to the training of Malian armed forces, because they lack a lot of military efficiency to confront terrorist groups who control the north of the country, as some of them come Libya and Afghanistan and are forces to be taken into account, "said the defense minister.

Spain also contribute to the EUTM Mali with a transport plane C-130 Hercules transport troops to the ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) from neighboring countries to the Malian airside.

Spanish participation in Mali EUTM "must pass congressional ratification of Deputies", as explained by the Deputy Prime Minister, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, because it is required by Law 5/2005, of 17 November, the National Defense, in its Article 17, which states that "to order overseas operations not directly related to the defense of Spain or the national interest, the Government will seek prior consultation and approval" of the House Baja.

Two parallel missions

So far, Spain has maritime CEDED its airspace to France, since January 11 Which is fighting against terrorist groups have controlled That the north of Mali in the operation called 'Serval', Which Began Also yesterday Participate troops from Niger and Togo.

Total Military Personnel Involved In This operation is 2,300, According To the French Ministry of Defense. Of These, 250 belong to the two African Countries of ECOWAS yesterday joined French deployment to support the Malian armed forces to Prevent the rise of terrorist groups in the south, and restore the territorial integrity Throughout The territory of Mali.

Along with the combat mission, Which we'll be adding more troops from ECOWAS, Mali EUTM be Developed, Which Will be one of the two military missions to be Carried out in the African country Simultaneously.

An area of ​​vital interest to Spain

Since the conflict began in Mali in March last year, the Spanish Government has expressed particular concern about instability in a zone, the Sahel, of vital interest to Spain, because the criminal actions of the terrorist networks operating in that region are not relegated to that particular area of the belt of Africa. "Spain-Morenés said in November-has a responsibility and interest in the stability of Mali".

Occur in March after the coup of the Tuareg rebels, subsequently displaced by terrorist groups linked to al Qaeda who currently have control of the north of the country (the regions of Timbuktu, Gao and Kidal), the Spanish government suspended "all cooperation except humanitarian aid "to the restoration of constitutional order. The Spanish Government, as reported by then Foreign Mali had donated 37 million per year over the last four years.