Details on the Economic Community of West African States’ battle plan for Mali:
“International forces will not do the ground fighting, that role will belong to the Malian army,” a military officer familiar with the plan, who asked not to be named, said on Friday.
“Air strikes will be the responsibility of the international force,” he said, adding foreign partners would also provide logistical and intelligence support and soldiers and police to secure areas captured by the Malian army.
Military planners from Africa, the United Nations and Europe in Mali’s capital Bamako last week drew up a battle plan that would involve a foreign force of more than 4,000 personnel, mostly from West African countries. It remains unclear how much of the force would come from Western nations.
The plan covers a six-month period, with a preparatory phase for training and the establishment of bases in Mali’s south, followed by combat operations in the north.
Top French military commanders visited Mauritania this week to discuss Mali and terrorism.
The ongoing Muslim protests in Ethiopia merit a full post, but two items of note are the announcement of new members of the Islamic Affairs Council and a statement by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom expressing concern “about the increasing deterioration of religious freedoms for Muslims in Ethiopia.”
In other Ethiopia-related news, “Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan have agreed to resume jointly working on organizing sustainable management, utilization and development of the Nile waters under the Eastern Nile Basin. The agreement was reached after water Ministers and representatives of the three countries held a meeting in Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on Thursday.”
The United Nations warns survivors of Nigeria’s worst flooding in five decades are at risk for waterborne and water-related diseases. Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency reports the heavy rains have killed 363 people, affected 7.7 million and made more than two million people homeless.
Reuters: “Somalia’s al Shabaab, Squeezed in South, Move to Puntland.”
Senegalese police will again question Karim Wade, a former minister and son of former President Abdoulaye Wade.
What else is happening?