PARIS, May 10 (Xinhua) -- French President Francois Hollande on Friday said committed to holding election in Mali by the end of July after Paris-led military offensive had driven out Islamist rebels from the West African country's northern cities.
In a joint press conference with his Nigerien counterpart Mahamadou Issoufou, Hollande stressed that the expected election should be hold throughout the West African country, including the northern region of Gao and Kidal where insecurity and suicide attacks still haunted stability.
"No part of Mali should be deprived of the possibility of organizing the election. We must ensure that the Malian civil administration can be installed anywhere to organize these elections. France, through its military presence, and other armies, will contribute to that," Hollande said.
"These elections must be held for the people of Mali itself, for the example that we must give to all of Africa, and for the legitimacy which must be that of the Malian authorities to continue the political dialogue," the president added.
In January, France launched air and ground operation in its former colony at the request of local authorities to help oust Islamist insurgents from the Malian main northern region.
"Democracy, elections, security, quality of development, all contribute to the fight against terrorism," Hollande noted.
Visiting Nigerien President Issoufou pointed out the necessity to "restore Mali's integrity" and "hold a free and democratic election."
"All Malians, regardless of their place of residence, should exercise their right to vote. We will ensure that arrangements are made for them to be so," Issoufou said.
France and Niger that participated in serval operation in Mali earlier this year will take part to an international conference on Mali scheduled for May 15 in Brussels in a bid to help rebuild the conflict-torn country.