French enter last Islamist stronghold in Mali

Residents of Gao, Mali, look on at burned vehicles that had belonged to Islamist forces. Photo: Reuters

France called for peace talks between Mali’s government and “legitimate representatives” from the north, after French troops took up positions at Kidal, the last city held by Islamist forces.

Thursday, 29 August, 2013, 4:13am

African forces boost Mali offensive, concern over abuses

Malian soldiers patrol in Diabaly on Wednesday after French and Malian troops recaptured the frontline towns of Diabaly and Douentza in a major boost to their push north to flush out al-Qaeda-linked rebels. Photo: AFP

African forces moved towards Mali’s centre on Thursday, as the European Union joined a chorus of concern over summary killings and abuses in the offensive on al-Qaeda-linked groups.

The first troops from a UN-mandated African force aimed at replacing the French mission have “already started to move towards central towns”, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said in Paris.

24 Jan 2013 - 5:52pm

French-backed Malian troops reclaim key town from rebels

Nigerian soldiers sit in military trucks before leaving for Mali. Photo: Reuters

The Malian army backed by French troops on Friday wrested a key central town from Islamist rebels, as the UN warned up to a million people could be driven from their homes by fighting in coming months.

18 Jan 2013 - 10:02pm