URGENT ¥¥¥ France calls on UN to prepare for Mali peacekeepers

France on Wednesday called on the UN Security Council to prepare to send a peacekeeping force to Mali and speed up sending human rights observers, French ambassador Gerard Araud said.

Araud told reporters after closed UN Security Council talks on the Mali crisis that it would be "several weeks" before an assessment could be made on whether French troops could hand over to a peacekeeping force.