– U.S. may give $32M to train African troops in Mali (USA Today/AP, Jan 26, 2013):
SEVARE, Mali (AP) — The Obama administration is seeking an additional $32 million to train African troops to fight Islamic extremists in Mali.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters Friday the request had been made to Congress.
The United States is not providing any direct aid to the Malian government because the democratically elected president was overthrown in a coup last year.
However, it has been providing aid to the French-led mission, transporting French troops and equipment to Mali.
France has some 2,400 forces in the West African nation but says it wants African nations to take the lead in fighting the extremists who rule northern Mali.
The French-led operation began on Jan. 11 after the militants surged southward from their strongholds and took the town of Konna, later recaptured by government forces.
Some analysts believe that Malian abandoned natural resources, including gold and uranium reserves, could be one of the reasons behind French war on the country.
And Germany wants its gold back:
The following table shows the current and the envisaged future allocation of Germany’s gold reserves across the various storage locations:
31 December 2012 31 December 2020 Frankfurt am Main 31 % 50 % New York 45 % 37 % London 13 % 13 % Paris 11 % 0 %
To this end, the Bundesbank is planning a phased relocation of 300 tonnes of gold from New York to Frankfurt as well as an additional 374 tonnes from Paris to Frankfurt by 2020.