Germany to send more military trainers to Mali

by Reuters
Wednesday, 5 February 2014 19:24 GMT

BERLIN, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Germany's government agreed on Wednesday to raise the number of military personnel it can send to Mali to provide support to a French-led operations such as troop transport flights and training.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet raised the limit to 250 personnel from 180, spokesman Steffen Seibert said. They would not engage in combat operations and parliament had still to approve the decision.

Germany generally provides logistical supports rather than firepower to overseas missions.

Almost 5,000 German personnel are currently involved in nine international missions, including more than 3,000 in Afghanistan, mostly working on training local security forces.

A French-led offensive in January 2013 drove out Islamist militants who had seized control of northern Mali. However, some fighters linked to al Qaeda are still holding out in pockets of territory in the north. (Reporting by Sabine Siebold, Writing by Sarah Marsh; editing by Ralph Boulton)

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