ADDIS ABABA, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Leaders from African countries and donors from other continents on Tuesday pledged 455.5 million U.S. dollars for Mali's efforts to regain security and peace in the country.
The donations were committed at a high-level donors conference at the African Union headquarters in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, convened by the African Union (AU) and the Economic Commission for West African States (ECOWAS), the regional economic bloc that Mali belongs to.
Commission Chairwoman of the African Union (AU) Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said at the opening of the donor conference that Mali operation requires 500 million U.S. dollars for its operation of the African-led International Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA)) and restructuring of the national army.
"We believe that the military operation in Mali will complement the political process to bring peace in that country," AU Chairman and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said on the opening of the donor conference.
The African presidents have agreed during the 20th AU summit that the AU is to contribute 50 million U.S. dollars and the rest was committed by nations mostly from the Western world including the European Union which agreed to provide 50 million euro (about 67 million U.S. dollars).
Japan and the United States pledged 120 million and 96 million dollars respectively.
The United Nations earlier this week said that the UN is politically committed to the resolvement of the Malian crisis and will actively participate in the donors' conference.
The conference was held at a time when French-led forces are fighting rebels in northern Mali to recapture the region that the rebels including extremist Islamic groups have occupied last year.