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UK Extends Help to French Forces in Mali

The UK is augmenting its support by sending a small group of UK Special Forces soldiers to Mali.

Earlier this month, British Forces loaned France the use of two heavy-lift military transports. The American and Canadian military have also loaned aircraft to aid France in transporting their military equipment and troops. Now, it is augmenting its support by sending a small group of UK Special Forces soldiers.

David Cameron stated that Britain was not looking to pursue a combat role, this is why the Special Forces that were deployed are only being dispatched to help advise French Forces. Even if Britain wanted to be fully involved in Mali, the majority of their troops and resources are committed in Afghanistan till they are relinquished of their duties in 2014.

The French military entered into Northern region of Mali known as the Sahel dessert where it has been deemed ungoverned to combat the uprising and spread of Islamic militants.

The recent attack on BP employees in Algeria, which left 37 hostages killed by terrorists from Mali with links to Al-Qaeda, demonstrates this increase in terrorism. France has stated that this will be a temporary intervention; it plans for African troops to replace its troops. Yet, before this can take place African forces must be brought up to a standard that will allow them to combat on their own resources. Therefore, the only way for France to ensure they are exclusively involved for a temporary intervention, is for them to fund African militaries to meet a level that they are able to defend themselves against militants. They will most likely need further aid and support from other nations to quickly end this incident.

Whether Western intervention will abolish extremists in this region of Africa or fuel the fire of feelings of resentment can only be seen as this military intervention persists.

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