January 17, 2013.
Bujumbura - African Union President Thomas Boni Yayi on Wednesday praised the "remarkable work" of the French military in Mali, saying its troops were "practically saving" Africa.
Boni Yayi, who is also the president of Benin, was speaking in Burundi's capital of Bujumbura after talks with his counterpart Pierre Nkurunziza during a brief stop on a tour of a dozen African countries.
"I believe France is doing a remarkable job in Mali and soon certain members of Ecowas [the Economic Community of West African States] will send troops" to support the war effort,” he said.
France "has sent more than a thousand soldiers who today are practically saving us," said the AU chairperson.
"Otherwise this terrorist threat would have increased to the detriment of an entire sub-region, an entire continent and the world," added Boni Yayi, whose country is a member of the regional bloc.
France has said it will swiftly increase the number of its troops in Mali to 2 500 men. On Wednesday it launched a ground offensive after six days of airstrikes.
Ecowas, meanwhile, is shaping a UN-mandated force of 3 300 soldiers to help fight against the Islamist rebels who have been occupying northern Mali since April last year.
According to Boni Yayi, the West African force's deployment has been delayed because "Malians did not speak with one voice, in Ecowas we were not speaking with one voice".
France intervened, he said, because "while we were trying to prepare, these terrorists decided to invade all of Mali" and "we were not ready to intervene".
The AU chief said he was very happy that the French had stepped in to help Mali.
During their talks, Nkurunziza and Boni Yayi discussed Burundi's willingness to send troops to Mali if the African force was extended beyond members of the Ecowas bloc.
Boni Yayi is set to meet with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni in Kampala on Thursday.
Comment: Do Africans really need dumb f*ck sellout leaders like Boni Yayi? I mean really now. Have we not suffered enough?
France is "practically saving us" this fool says! Who is us?
After decades of colonial interference in the continent this is the best he can offer; he is impressed with France's intervention!
And Barundi? They ready to send troops to help what exactly? Who they fighting and for what reasons?
How long you think until the coonery here in South Africa figure out they should look beyond the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and say something? Does the ruling party even have a coherent African foreign policy?
Maybe the president can offer more reasons why it is in South Africa's interest to have the West invade African countries and kill more Africans so that the world can be safe from tooth decay and manufactured terrorist threats.
Is anyone wondering why when Gaddafi was alive this sh*t in Mali and the greater Sahel was not even a threat to anyone?
As each day goes by I become more ashamed that the legacy of resistance Omar Mukhtar, Robert Sobukwe, Amilcar Cabral and Patrice Lumumba -among other revolutionaries- has been sold out by this vacuous generation of sellouts that parade as leaders in the African Union and across the continent.
Four decades ago Steve Biko warned of mental slavery - he would be disgusted to see the psychological chains that bind the supposed African leadership to the ass of whiteness, still.
And we are not free.