Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Belgium has two C-130 and two helicopters to the French army

BRUSSELS - Belgium on Tuesday decided to support the French intervention in Mali by deploying two aircraft and two C-130 medevac helicopters.

Belgium provides logistical support in the fight against terrorism in Mali, said the Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo at the end of a closed meeting of his government devoted to Mali.

The kingdom has responded to a request from France by deploying two C-130 strategic airlift and tactical. They will be operational tomorrow (Thursday) morning, according to the Defense Minister Pieter De Crem.

Belgium will also send in a second time, A-109 helicopter and a helicopter medicalized reserve for casualty evacuation.

About 75 Belgian soldiers involved in the operation and leave in the coming hours and days towards Abidjan and Bamako to begin their mission, according to the Ministry of Defence. These men are not involved in combat operations.

The government will evaluate its commitment late February or early March, said Mr De Crem.

His counterpart Didier Reynders, in charge of Foreign Affairs, said that the aim was that the French operation as soon as possible gives over to an international operation where we would continue to play a role.

Reynders said that Belgium had given at the September agreement in principle to participate in an international intervention from the government of Mali, with the support of ECOWAS and the African Union (AU).

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