French president visits Mali to cheers of support

France's President Francois Hollande arrives at the airport with Mali's interim president Dioncounda Traore, after visiting the centre of Timbuktu. Photo: Reuters

French President Francois Hollande bathed in the cheers and accolades of the thousands of people of this embattled Timbuktu on Saturday, making a triumphant stop six days after French forces parachuted to liberate the fabled city from the radical Islamists occupying it.

Sunday, 3 February, 2013, 12:08am

Germany security talks begin with Syria, Mali in focus

US Vice-President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Photo: AFP

High-level officials, ministers and top military brass gathered at the Munich Security Conference Friday with Syria in the spotlight and amid a US warning to Iran over stalled nuclear talks.

2 Feb 2013 - 3:55pm

Briefs, February 1, 2013

A camel farm in Germany is engulfed in flames. Photo: EPA

A fire has destroyed a camel farm in the Black Forest region of southwest Germany, killing 86 animals and causing up to €2 million (HK$21 million) in damages. 

1 Feb 2013 - 3:40am

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.

“This political process now has to advance concretely,” French foreign ministry spokesman Philippe Lalliot said on Wednesday.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

Looting in Timbuktu as donors pledge US$455 million for Mali

Looters crowd to get into a shop in the streets of Timbuktu on Tuesday. Photo: AFP

Hundreds of Malians looted Arab-owned shops on Tuesday in Mali’s fabled Timbuktu, newly freed from Islamists, as global donors pledged over US$455 million.

29 Jan 2013 - 9:24pm

International donor conference for war-torn Mali opens

Chairperson of the African Union Commission Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma attends a press conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Monday. Photo: Xinhua

An international donor conference to drum up funds and troops to help the military operation in Mali opened on Tuesday at the African Union headquarters.

29 Jan 2013 - 4:03pm

Britain mulls sending hundreds of troops to Mali

British Prime Minister David Cameron. Photo: Reuters

Britain is considering sending about 200 non-combat troops to help the military operation against Islamist militants in Mali, with a decision expected within days, media reports said Tuesday.

29 Jan 2013 - 11:38am

Islamists set fire to library housing ancient manuscripts

The blaze destroyed ancient manuscripts. Photo: AP

Halle Ousmani Cisse said that fighters allied with al-Qaeda torched two buildings on Saturday where the manuscripts were being kept. They also burned down the town hall and the governor's office, and shot dead a man who was celebrating the arrival of the French military.

29 Jan 2013 - 4:00am

Mali crisis to dominate AU summit

African Union peace and security commissioner Ramtane Lamamra (left) and commission chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Photo: AFP

Efforts to end conflict across Africa, especially in Mali, dominated the African Union summit opening on Sunday, with the 54-member bloc’s chief saying greater efforts are needed to build peace.

“Much still needs to be done to resolve ongoing, renewed and new conflict situations in a number of countries,” AU Commission chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said in her opening speech.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

French, Malian troops push north as African defence chiefs meet

French troops in Mali. Photo: AP

French and Malian troops pushed north towards the key Islamist strongholds in northern Mali, as west African defence chiefs gathered in Ivory Coast Saturday to review plans to deploy a regional intervention force.

26 Jan 2013 - 5:15pm

Breakaway group 'rejects terrorism' and is ready to end Mali conflict

French soldiers aboard a US air force transport plane heading for Mali from Istres airbase, near Marseille, southern France. Photo: AP

One of the main Islamist groups occupying northern Mali split yesterday, with the breakaway faction saying it was ready for talks to end a two-week-old French-led offensive, amid growing concerns over rights abuses by government troops.

25 Jan 2013 - 3:04am

Algeria desert siege death toll may rise as missing sought

Hostages put their hands in the air at the In Amenas gas facility in this still image taken from video footage taken last week. Photo: Reuters

Governments scrambled on Sunday to track down missing nationals after the bloody end to a gas plant siege in the Sahara that saw Islamists kill at least 23 foreigners and Algerians, mostly hostages, as Algiers feared the toll may rise.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

Call for global support in Mali's anti-terror fight

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (right) is welcome by Ivory Coast's President and ECOWAS chairman Alassane Ouattara in Abidjan. Photo: AFP

West African leaders yesterday urged greater global involvement in Mali as they met to speed up the deployment of regional troops to support a French-backed offensive against an Islamist onslaught.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius also attended the emergency summit, held in Ivory Coast's main city Abidjan.

20 Jan 2013 - 4:43am

Algerian army frees 650 hostages, including 70 foreigners

The remote In Amenas natural gas field in Algeria, where the terrorist attack took place and the hostages were taken. Photo: AP /DigitalGlobe

The Algerian army’s rescue operation has freed nearly 650 hostages, including around 70 foreigners, who had been seized by Islamist gunmen at the In Amenas gas plant.

18 Jan 2013 - 9:51pm

Hostages die in Algerian desert rescue attempt

Newspaper headlining 'Terrorist attack and kidnapping in In Amenas' in Algiers. Photo: AP

Six foreign hostages and eight of their captors were killed when Algerian forces fired on a vehicle being used by besieged gunmen at a gas plant in the remote Algerian desert yesterday, a local source said.

18 Jan 2013 - 6:14am