This story highlights the strategic importance of Mali’s stability. The country has vast areas of remote desert that could be used in efforts to radicalize and train muslims for jihad. With this monetary aid and ongoing training, hopefully these areas can be patrolled, and al-Qaeda efforts disrupted:
US arms Mali to battle al-Qaeda
Some 37 Land Cruisers were handed over to the Malians
The US is preparing to give Mali’s army millions of dollars worth of military hardware to help them fight al-Qaeda’s North African branch.
Trucks, powerful communication devices and clothing are among $5m (£3m) of equipment being handed over.
Mali is already being helped to fight the Islamists by Algeria and Libya.
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb emerged in 2007 from an Algerian Islamist group and has since claimed responsibility for dozens of attacks in the region.
The US ambassador to Mali told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme there was growing concern over the actions of the group.
“We applaud the fact that the government of Mali has taken a firm stance and wants to be as effective as possible in combating that problem,” Gillian Milovanovic said.
The military equipment is intended to ensure that the country can protect its own borders, she said.
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