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Global players seek 'to put Mali together again'

The UN, African Union and other global players meet in Brussels on Tuesday to seek ways of anchoring long-term peace and stability in Mali once the military drive to oust Islamist rebel forces is over. Mali's Foreign Minister Tieman Coulibaly will lead a team from the beleaguered West African nation meeting 45-odd delegations from Africa and Europe at ministerial-level talks hosted by the European Union. "We need to prepare the future," said a senior EU official ahead of the day-long meeting of the Mali "support and follow-up group" that kicks off at around 0930 GMT.

Hollande gets hero's welcome in a Mali fearful of future

President Francois Hollande received a rapturous welcome in Mali on Saturday as he promised that France would stay as long as necessary to continue the fight against Islamist rebels in the country's north. As troops worked to secure Kidal, the last bastion of radicals who occupied the vast desert north for 10 months before the French army's surprise intervention, Hollande told Malians it was time for Africans to take the lead but that France would not abandon them.

Hollande visits Mali to push for African takeover

President Francois Hollande called on Africans to take over the fight against extremism as he received a rapturous welcome Saturday in Mali, where a French-led offensive has driven back Islamist rebels from the north. The French leader's whirlwind tour came as troops worked to secure Kidal, the last bastion of radicals who seized control of Mali's desert north last year after a coup, raising fears that an area larger than France could become a safe haven for Al-Qaeda-linked fighters.

Hollande visits Mali to push for African takeover

President Francois Hollande arrived in Mali Saturday to push for African troops to replace French forces who led a lightning advance that drove back radical Islamists from the country's desert north. The French leader's whirlwind tour came as troops worked to secure Kidal, the last bastion of the radicals who seized control last year after a coup, raising fears that an area larger than France could become a safehaven for Al-Qaeda-linked fighters.

Hollande visits Mali as French troops eye last bastion

President Francois Hollande arrived in Mali on Saturday as French-led troops worked to secure the last Islamist stronghold in the north after a lightning offensive against the extremists. Hollande, whose surprise decision to intervene in Mali three weeks ago has won broad support at home, was to thank French troops who have pushed back the radicals from the north of Paris's former colony and to push for their speedy replacement by African forces. "I am going to Mali to express to our soldiers all our support, encouragement and pride," he said a day before his visit.

Hollande to visit Mali as French troops eye last bastion

President Francois Hollande was set to visit Mali Saturday as French-led troops worked to secure the last Islamist stronghold in the north after a lightning offensive against the extremists. Hollande, whose surprise decision to intervene in Mali three weeks ago has won broad support at home, will travel to the fabled city of Timbuktu and hold a working lunch in the capital Bamako with Mali's interim president Dioncounda Traore, the Malian presidency said. "I am going to Mali to express to our soldiers all our support, encouragement and pride," said Hollande.

UN in 'atrocity crimes' warning to Malian army

The United Nations expressed alarm Friday over reported mob lynchings and other reprisal killings of Tuaregs and Arabs as the Malian army retakes control of the north of the country. Adama Dieng, a special adviser to UN leader Ban Ki-moon on the prevention of genocide, said there have been "serious allegations" of summary executions by the Malian army, which could amount to "atrocity crimes."

Hollande to visit Mali as French troops eye last bastion

President Francois Hollande prepared to visit Mali as French-led troops worked Friday to secure the last Islamist stronghold in the north after a lightning offensive against the extremists. Hollande, whose surprise decision to intervene in Mali three weeks ago has won broad support at home, will travel to the fabled city of Timbuktu and hold a working lunch in the capital Bamako with Mali's interim president Dioncounda Traore, the Malian presidency said. "I am going to Mali to express to our soldiers all our support, encouragement and pride," said Hollande.

Hollande to visit Mali as French troops eye last bastion

President Francois Hollande prepared to visit Mali as French-led troops worked Friday to secure the last Islamist stronghold in the north after a lightning offensive against the extremists. Hollande, whose surprise decision to intervene in Mali three weeks ago has won broad support at home, will travel to the fabled city of Timbuktu and hold a working lunch in the capital Bamako with Mali's interim president Dioncounda Traore, the Malian presidency said. "I am going to Mali to express to our soldiers all our support, encouragement and pride," said Hollande.

Hollande to visit Mali as French troops eye last bastion

President Francois Hollande prepared to visit Mali as French-led troops worked Friday to secure the last Islamist stronghold in the north after a lightning offensive against the extremists. Hollande, whose surprise decision to intervene in Mali three weeks ago has won broad support at home, will visit the former French colony Saturday with Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and Development Minister Pascal Canin, his office said.
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