Donors' conference on Mali targets US$500m

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - The donors' conference slated to hold in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 29 January, aims to raise US$500 million to support ongoing efforts to assist Mali to restore its sovereignty over the northern part of the country that was seized by armed Islamist groups last year, PANA learnt from sources close to the organisers here Friday.

The sources said out of the amount, US$200 million would be given to the Malian army, which is at the centre of the efforts, while the remainder will go to the Africa-led International Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA).

''We have decided to hold the conference in Addis Ababa to coincide with the AU Summit when a lot of partners will be coming to town, so we can take advantage of their presence.

''The conference, jointly organised by the ECOWAS, AU and the United Nations, will bring together all the member states of the AU as well as 60 countries and partner institutions in order to mobilise financial and logistical support for Malian defence forces and support AFISMA,'' the sources said.

PANA learnt that the EU is planning another donors' conference for AFISMA in Brussels, Belgium, 8 Feb.

ECOWAS has pledged to contribute 3,500 troops to the UN-backed AFISMA, and over 1,000 of the pledged troops have already been deployed to Mali.

Outside ECOWAS, Burundi and Chad have also pledged to send troops to the international force, which is fighting alongside French and Malian forces to restore state control of the north.
-0- PANA SEG 25Jan2013

25 january 2013 13:12:35

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