GAO, Mali (Reuters) – France will only hand over to African troops in Mali when security is restored, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told his forces during a surprise visit to the rugged north of the country where they are battling Islamist rebels.
Reviewing the ranks of French soldiers in the dusty Adrar des Ifoghas mountains, Le Drian paid homage to the courage of troops engaged in fierce fire-fights with al Qaeda militants in the desolate desert region near the Algerian border.
GAO, Mali (Reuters) – France’s Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian paid a surprise visit on Thursday to French forces battling Islamist rebels in rugged northern Mali, saying their military mission would not end until security was restored in the West African country.
After reviewing ranks of French soldiers near the desolate Adrar des Ifoghas mountains, Le Drian told France 24 television that Paris’ aim was to help “reestablish security in the whole of Mali’s territory”.
NORTHERN OUTSKIRTS OF ABIDJAN (Reuters) – Armed and ready, hundreds of troops loyal to Ivory Coast’s Alassane Ouattara are waiting to launch what they say will be the final assault on Abidjan. And waiting…
“Today’s the big day,” a fighter who called himself Don told Reuters at a base camp just north of the economic capital on Sunday, one of hundreds of pro-Ouattara troops massed there.