Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns of further sanctions against Russia

    Read more

  • EU leaders meet in Brussels to seek a response to Russia

    Read more

  • IMF stands behind Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Experimental Ebola drug ‘ZMapp’ heals all monkeys in study

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • Suriname leader’s son pleads guilty to courting Hezbollah

    Read more

  • Chelsea’s Torres set for AC Milan switch

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • First case of Ebola confirmed in Senegal

    Read more

  • Obama has 'no strategy yet' on potential Syria strikes

    Read more

  • Netflix to woo French with ‘House of Cards’ set in Marseille

    Read more

  • French businesses ‘hoping for a new Thatcher’

    Read more

  • Syrian refugees surpass 3 million, UN says

    Read more

  • Libyan PM resigns as Islamists set up rival administration

    Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • The deleted tweets of Manuel Valls

    Read more

  • Peru seizes record 6.5 tonnes of Europe-bound cocaine

    Read more

Africa

Mali and Niger forces retake northern Malian town

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-01-29

Troops from Mali and Niger entered the northern Malian town of Ansongo on Tuesday. Hundreds of people spilled onto Ansongo’s streets, which had been under Islamist militant control, to cheer as they entered the town.

Forces from Mali and Niger took control of the northern Malian town of Ansongo on Tuesday, which is located just 80 kilometres (around 50 miles) south of the key northern city of Gao.

Hundreds of people spilled onto Ansongo’s streets, which had been under Islamist militant control, to cheer Malian and Nigerien troops as they entered the town with one woman shouting, “Let me see the liberators up close!”

The military operation began early on Tuesday morning in Yassen, a small village on Niger’s border with Mali, where a convoy of more than 100 armoured vehicles and four-wheel drives equipped with machine guns rolled toward Ansongo before taking it in the early afternoon.

Crowds gathered around the town’s main administrative buildings, which Islamist militants from the al Qaeda-linked Movement for Unification and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) had sequestered as their headquarters.

International help

The success comes a little more than two weeks after France began the operation to help free Mali’s north from Islamist militant control. While French forces have borne the brunt of the campaign, around 2,000 African troops have now been sent to Mali or neighbouring Niger to boost the French-led offensive.

Britain has also offered aid to help France’s effort in Mali and pledged soldiers to assist other African governments in the region. Up to 240 British troops could be deployed as part of two missions to train African forces.

The United States has extended deployment of surveillance drones that could track down rebel bases and columns in the Sahara desert. Mali’s neighbour Niger on Tuesday gave permission for US drones to fly from its territory.

However, the bulk of the planned African intervention force for Mali – to be comprised mostly of West African troops – is still struggling to get into the country, hampered by shortages of kit and supplies and lack of airlift capacity to fly the troops in.



 

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-01-29

  • MALI

    French-led operation looks north after Timbuktu

    Read more

  • MALI

    Mali Tuareg rebels say they control Kidal, Islamists gone

    Read more

  • MALI

    Global donors pledge more than $600 million for Mali

    Read more

COMMENT(S)