Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

2014-07-22 07:21 IN THE FRENCH PRESS

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Is there such a thing as "telegenic" victims of war?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Dalia Grybauskaite, President of the Republic of Lithuania

Read more

WEB NEWS

Online scammers exploit MH17 crash

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Too many graphic images from Gaza ?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Gaza: online reactions

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Rise of the Robots

Read more

FOCUS

Overfishing and the global appetite for bluefin tuna: can Tokyo turn the tide?

Read more

  • Hollande says French warship delivery will ‘depend on Russia’s attitude’

    Read more

  • Israeli soldier missing in Gaza, say media reports

    Read more

  • Ukraine rebels release bodies, black boxes from flight MH17

    Read more

  • A call for harmony in riot-hit ‘Little Jerusalem’ Paris suburb

    Read more

  • Widodo poised to become Indonesian president

    Read more

  • An ‘explosion of violence’: French press reacts to Gaza protests

    Read more

  • Notorious ‘VIP’ prison in Paris closed for renovations

    Read more

  • Christians in Iraq's Mosul face execution or exodus

    Read more

  • Scores killed as Libyan militias fight over airport

    Read more

  • Ukraine football players refuse to return home after friendly in France

    Read more

  • China steps up communist education to guard against ‘moral decline’

    Read more

  • French rugby stars attacked with machetes and swords

    Read more

  • Hollande announces new military operation in West Africa

    Read more

  • Kristoff wins Tour’s flat Stage 15

    Read more

Africa

French forces to combat Mali 'terrorists', says Hollande

© AFP (archive photo)

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-10-25

French President François Hollande said on Friday that French, Malian and UN forces had launched a large-scale military operation in Mali to combat terrorism and restore stability in the country ahead of legislative elections.

French President François Hollande said on Friday that he had ordered a large-scale military operation in Mali to combat terrorism in the region ahead of the country’s legislative elections.

France’s armed forces announced on Thursday that it had launched a significant operation with Malian and United Nations forces to combat the growing presence of Islamist forces in Mali. It is the largest such military action in the country since France carried out an intervention in January 2013, after Islamist forces exploited a rebellion by Tuareg separatists to seize control of the north.

“We never said that our intervention would bring an end to terrorism in the region,” Hollande said at a press conference.

Terrorism taking root

Hollande said that terrorism had taken root across the Sahel, including northern Mali.

“The clearest evidence of this is that there have been several victims of suicide bomb attacks over the past few days, particularly among Chad’s forces,” Holland said, referring to an incident in the northern town of Tessalit on Wednesday, in which a suicide bomber killed two Chadian soldiers and injured six other UN peacekeepers in an attack on a checkpoint.

“I therefore ordered an operation to take out the groups that attacked Tessalit using the French troops still present in Mali – more than 2,500 [men] – and Mali’s armed forces,” Hollande said.

He added that the terrorists’ goal was to destabilise the country ahead of legislative elections on November 24.

“The operation’s goal is to make these elections secure and safe,” Hollande said. “Afterwards, we will reduce our presence and hand over control to United Nations forces.”

Unrest in Mali

Recent months have seen a rise in violence in Mali in the form of both attacks by Islamists, as well as fighting between security forces and Tuareg separatists.

France’s Colonel Gilles Jaron, however, has stressed that such incidents have remained relatively small in scale and have been perpetrated largely by groups who do not have the resources or ability to engage in a long-term conflict.

“We know that not all of these terrorist groups […] in Mali were eliminated,” he said. “And at times, they may resurface as we move toward legislative elections."

Earlier this month, the UN appealed for more troops and helicopters to be sent to Mali to help it with its peacekeeping operation. The UN Security Council originally mandated a 12,600-strong force in the country, but currently has just 5,200 troops on the ground.
 

Date created : 2013-10-25

  • MALI

    France in 'major' operation against Mali extremists

    Read more

  • MALI

    UN calls for more troops, helicopters for Mali mission

    Read more

  • MALI

    Suspected Islamists in Mali blow up bridge near Gao

    Read more

COMMENT(S)