MALI Ferry ? – the UK as part of its new European Union mission in North Africa the Prime Minister has offered our French Allies:
· Up to 200 UK personnel for a wider mission to Africa, outside Mali, to train troops from other African nations who will then go into Mali
· 70 UK personnel are already staffing a SENTINEL R1 “spy plane” based in Senegal.
· The offer of UK facilities for Britain’s “allies” – (ie : the United States) – to mount air-to-air refuelling operations
· About 20 RAF crew operating a C-17 transport plane, which will remain in Mali for three months
· An offer of a roll-on, roll-off ferry to ship French equipment by sea to Mali – presumably one of the Sealift Logistic Ships based at Marchwood ?
Out of interest the adjective francophone means French speaking, which for the record includes France (of course), Belgium, Luxembourg, Lebanon, Switzerland, Haiti, the French West Indies and several countries in Africa, including Congo (DRC), Burundi, Madagascar and Rwanda, that are former French or Belgian colonies. Colonial France, where there if of course a residual francophone association include Algeria, Tunisia, Mauritania, Senegal, Guinea, Mali, Ivory Coast, Benin, Niger, Chad, Central African Republic, and the east African coastal enclave of Djibouti (French Somaliland). New maps do I hear the cry in the corridors of power!