Togolese troops board a plane to Bamako on January 17, 2013 at the Lome airport. The first contingent of a planned 500 Togolese troops due to be deployed in Mali as part of an African force departed from Lome, today, an AFP journalist reported. More French troops also poured into Mali on Thursday, boosting their number to 1,400, the defence minister said. At full strength the force will be made-up of 2,500 soldiers.