Canada to aid France operation in Mali

Canada will send a Boeing C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft to aid France in its military operation in Mali

Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper announces plan to send military transport aircraft to aid France in its military intervention in Mali.

“While the government of Canada is not, and will not be, considering a direct Canadian military mission in Mali, Canada is prepared… to provide limited and clearly defined logistical support to assist the forces that are intervening in Mali,” Harper said on Monday.

The Canadian PM also said that Ottawa received a request from Paris “for heavy-lift aircraft to assist in the transport of equipment into the Malian capital of Bamako.”

The Royal Canadian Air Force will send a Boeing C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft to France to support its military operation for a one-week period.

Earlier in the day, Germany said it was considering ways to provide logistical, medical and humanitarian aid to France in its military action in Mali.

A NATO spokesman also said on Monday that the alliance would support France’s operations in Mali but that it had not received any request from Paris for help and there had been no “discussion within NATO of this crisis.”

An American official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said on Saturday that Washington had offered to send drones, adding that US commanders also planned to provide intelligence, aerial refueling tankers and logistical backup.

The British government also said in a statement on Saturday that it would “provide logistical military assistance to help transport foreign troops and equipment quickly to Mali.”

France began its military intervention in Mali on Friday, saying the war effort meant to halt advances made by the rebels, who control the north of the West African country.

Chaos broke out in the West African country after Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure was toppled in a military coup on March 22, 2012. The coup leaders said they had mounted the coup in response to the government’s inability to contain the two-month Tuareg rebellion in the north of the country.