PARIS, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- The France-led military intervention in Mali to oust Islamist rebels from the west African country may last a few weeks, Malian Foreign Affairs Minister Tieman Hubert Coulibali said on Tuesday.
In an interview with local broadcaster Europe1, Coulibali said further military aid would be needed after the operation ends to help local authorities restore political stability.
He also dismissed doubts that the international mobilization would cause a stalemate in the nation.
During a visit to the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday, French President Francois Hollande said French forces had kept up air strikes against rebels in Mali overnight and pledged to send more troops to the conflict-torn country.
"We will continue the deployment of forces on the ground and in the air. We have 750 troops deployed at the moment and that will keep increasing so that as quickly as possible we can hand over responsibility to the Africans," the president said.
BAMAKO, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- Al-Qaida-linked rebels in northern Mali seized the town of Diabaly on Monday in a counter-attack after being bombarded by French aircraft the previous day, officials and local residents confirmed. Full story
ABU DHABI, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- French President Francois Hollande said here Tuesday while visiting French troops stationed in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that multi-African forces would join French troops within a week in Mali to fight Islamist rebels there, the Elysee Presidential Palace said. Full story
UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- An estimated 30,000 people may have been displaced due to the eruption of fighting between the Mali government and the rebel group, Ansar Dine, in central and northern parts of the country last week, the United Nations said here Monday.
"It is feared that the number of people affected may be greater as it has been reported that some Islamist groups have prevented people from moving South," the deputy UN spokesman, Eduardo del Buey, said at a daily news briefing here. Full story
PARIS, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Monday called for international support in its operation to help Mali quash Islamist rebels.
"The international mobilization is essential as France did not intend to remain alone alongside Bamako authorities," Fabius told reporters, reiterating that Paris' objective was to pave the way for a "faster deployment of Misma (International Support Mission in Mali)." Full story