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Chadian Troops Dispatched To Mali Return Home

The Chadians could not access Mali due to an ECOWAS restriction preventing them from using Niger airspace.

Contrary to reports on social media that the Malian junta of Col. Assimi Goita turned back a contingent of Chadian soldiers sent by the government of Gen. Mahamat Idriss Deby to assist the Malian government, it has been disclosed that the Chadian troops could not fly across Niger Republic. 

HumAngle learnt that the Chadian contingent made a forced return to Chad after the Nigerien government refused the aircraft carrying the soldiers from flying over its territory.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) had imposed punitive sanctions on the Malian junta of Col. Assimi Goita, following the junta’s extension of its commitment of holding democratic elections in the country from six months to five years.

ECOWAS ordered the closure of all the borders of its member-states with Mali and suspended all cooperation and assistance with the junta.

Findings show that Mali was not against the arrival of Chadian military assistance to the country.

It was expected that regular flights between the two countries would resume on Tuesday, Jan. 11, according to reliable Malian military sources that spoke to HumAngle.

Sources revealed that the 8th Chadian military contingent that had been assigned to the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission to Mali (MINUSMA) had arrived at the end of its mission and it was a 9th contingent that was about to be deployed to Mali that had a hitch with the Niger authorities.

“It was the Nigerien government that ordered the aircraft carrying the Chadian contingent to land in Agadez. A compromise has been reached with the United Nations and the deployment of the Chadian troops has been authorized,” a government source revealed.

Our sources hinted that the misunderstanding involving the Chadian troops is a collateral damage occasioned by the ECOWAS sanctions imposed on the Malian junta.

The sanctions are expected to have other disagreeable effects on the operational capacity of UN troops in Mali as some of the contingents are from member-states of ECOWAS.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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