FG to deploy troops to Mali – Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan said that the Federal Government would deploy troops to the troubled region of Mali before next week to liberate the country from extremist invasion.

Jonathan made the disclosure at a cocktail function he hosted at the Presidential Villa for members of the Diplomatic Corps resident in the country.

“We are confronted presently with a situation in Mali. Let me assure you and the global community that as a nation, we will work with other nations to make sure that the problem in Mali is solved.

“Already, our technical team is already in Mali, so definitely, the Nigeria troops will be in Mali before next week.

“Of course, the ECOWAS, we are meeting this weekend and our expectation is that by next week most other ECOWAS countries that pledged troops, our men will be on ground to assist Mali to liberate the country.

“We can no longer surrender any part of the globe to extremism, because it does not pay and we don’t know the next victim.

“We must collectively discourage individuals or group of individuals that will take laws in to their hands and make the world a place that is not safe for all of us,” he said.

The President also appreciated the support of other countries toward helping Nigeria combat local extremism and terrorism.

He thanked the diplomats for their yuletide greetings from their governments to the Nigerian government.

He also thanked them for their messages of condolences in the out-gone year, regarding various tragedies including floods, local terrorist activities, air crashes, and his younger brother’s death.

The president announced that the cocktail would now be regularly held at the beginning of every year.

He said that he looked forward to building such friendship and understanding “to enhance our mutual progress and prosperity”.

The president stressed that his vision was to have prosperity spread to every part of Nigeria and to build a just and fair nation where peoples’ wishes would be respected, especially through the ballot box.

Earlier, the acting Dean of the Diplomatic Corp and the Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Congo to Nigeria, Mrs Olumba Kombe, thanked the president and Nigerians for their kind supports and hospitality in the discharge of their duties.

She expressed the willingness of all members of the Diplomatic community to continue to work with the government.

Kombe said that in spite all the challenges faced by the country, Nigeria had continued to discharge its roles in the international affairs.

She particularly commended Nigeria’s contributions “to the struggles in Africa, to stronger Africa through its activities in international peace and security”.

Kombe assured of the willingness and readiness of her colleagues to work with the government in 2013 and beyond.

NAN reports that the diplomats proposed a toast to world peace and cooperation among all countries, and for the progress of Nigeria.


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