BAMAKO, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- French President Francois Hollande arrived in Marli on Saturday in hope for an early shift of anti- rebel operations to African troops.
Hollande described his visit to the former French colony as a mission to express "support, encouragement and pride" to "out soldiers."
He also hopes African troops will replace French soliders "as quickly as possible" after allied forces chased away rebels from major towns in northern Mali.
Hollande was met by Mali's interim President Dioncounda Traore upon his arrival at the airport of the central town of Savare.
They are scheduled to hold talks on a later occasion. Hollande also plans to visit Timbuktu, which is listed as UNESCO heritage town.
France intervened on Jan. 11 to help the Malian army repel approaching rebels including Al-Qaida's North African branch AQIM. With more and more French and African troops sent in to battle the rebels vowing to impose Sharia law throughout Mali, the Malian army has quickly taken back the northern towns of Cao, Timbuktu and Kidal, the capitals of the three northern regions sharing the same names respectively.
The Malian government hopes to hold an early election to end the crisis unleashed by a military coup on March 22, 2012 and the occupation of northern Mali by rebels in April of the same year.
MUNICH, Germany, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- A French official said Friday that his country intends to advance the political process in Mali.
As France and its African partners are able to "secure cities again" step by step, France aims to advance the political process in Mali, Jean-Claude Mallet, an advisor for French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, said at a night session of the 49th Munich Security Conference. Full story
BAMAKO, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- The Malian Members of Parliament (MPs) who were meeting during an extraordinary session, unanimously adopted the government's road-map for the transition, a parliamentary source said on Tuesday. Full story
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. Full story