Togo boosts Mali troop allotment - Daily Nation

Togo boosts Mali troop allotment to over 700: official

Wednesday January 23 2013

By AFP

LOME

Togo has boosted its troop allotment for Mali to at least 733 from 500 pledged earlier as part of an African force to help the country retake its Islamist-controlled north, an army spokesman said Tuesday.

"The number of soldiers Togo will send to Mali has been reviewed upward. At least 733 Togolese soldiers will be deployed to Mali, instead of 500," Colonel Djibril Inoussa told AFP.

"A total 96 soldiers left Lome (the Togolese capital) Tuesday" for Mali by road, he said.

It is the second contingent Togo has sent to Mali in a week.

Forty Togolese soldiers arrived in Mali last Thursday, the first of those pledged by African nations to back a French-led offensive launched on January 11 against Islamist rebels.

Mali's former colonial ruler France came to its aid 10 months after it lost over half its territory to Islamists who have imposed a brutal form of Islamic law in northern towns, amid rising fears that the vast area could become a new haven for Al-Qaeda.

The gathering African-led Mali force is in line with a United Nations resolution and will be headed by Nigerian General Shehu Abdulkadir.