IT'S OFFICIAL - ECOWAS Troops in Mali by December
West African regional leaders have agreed to deploy 3,300 soldiers to Mali to retake the north from Islamist extremists.
At a summit of Ecowas, the group's chairman said it was ready to use force to "dismantle terrorist and transnational criminal networks".
The soldiers would be provided mainly by Nigeria, Niger and Burkina Faso.
Ivory Coast President Alassane Outtara told reporters in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, that the soldiers could be deployed as soon as the UN approved the military plan.
He said he hoped the Security Council would approve the plan by late November or early December.
According to a Malian army source quoted by Reuters, 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.
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