Amidst rising insecurity in the country, Nigeria will contribute 600 soldiers to the proposed 3,200 West African troops soon to be deployed to Mali, the Minister of State for Defence, Mrs Olusola Obada, said in Abuja on Tuesday.
Obada announced this when the British Prime Minister’s Special Representative to the Sahel Region, Mr Stephen O’Brien, paid her a courtesy visit.
She said the situation in the Sahel and Mali was a great concern not only to Africa but to the international community as there were cells of terrorists in the region.
“The issue of the Sahel is a great concern to everybody in the sub-region, Africa and the international community,” she said
The minister called for international support for ECOWAS’ and Africa’s effort to make Mali regain its northern region occupied by rebel groups.
Earlier, O’Brien assured the minister of Britain’s willingness to support the efforts to flush out the rebels in Mali.
He said that the international community was concerned with the situation in the Sahel region and Mali and called for a united effort to deal with it.
O’Brien described Nigeria as a key partner to the United Kingdom, saying that he was in the country to discuss how his country could provide support to deal with the situation in Mali.