France increases troop numbers in Mali and prepares for assault

French soldiers preparing for renewed military operations on Tuesday in Mali. Photo: Xinhua

After a punishing bombing campaign failed to halt the advance of al-Qaeda-linked fighters, France pledged on Tuesday to triple the size of its force in Mali, sending in hundreds more troops as it prepared for a

Wednesday, 16 January, 2013, 11:09am

Tuareg separatists offer military help to defeat Mali's Islamists

French soldiers at a Malian army air base in Bamako. France has poured hundreds of troops into the capital to prevent its capture by Islamist forces. Photo: Reuters

Fearful of being caught in the middle of the conflict engulfing Mali, the country's Tuaregs have offered to put their renowned fighting prowess at the disposal of a French-led campaign to drive Islamic radicals out of the country.

16 Jan 2013 - 4:30am

UN-backed France sends more troops to Mali

France is planning to deploy a total of 2,500 ground troops to Mali, more than three times the number sent so far to its former colony, after it secured fresh UN backing for its military action.

16 Jan 2013 - 4:30am

France strikes new Mali town, boosts troop numbers

French Royal Air Force flight crew guide a armoured personnel carrier as it is driven off a C17 aircraft in Bamako, Mali. Photo: Reuters

French warplanes hit a town seized by Islamists in Mali as African troops on Tuesday prepared to join the offensive which has sent jihadists fleeing from their northern strongholds.

21 Jan 2013 - 8:46pm

Islamist rebels in Mali vow to strike at 'heart of France'

A French soldier on patrol under the Eiffel Tower after the country tightened security at home. AP

Islamist forces seized control of a town in a fresh attack in Mali's government-held south yesterday and vowed to strike "at the heart" of France as it waged a fourth day of air raids against them.

A local government official reported the jihadists had seized Diabaly, about 400 kilometres north of the capital Bamako.

15 Jan 2013 - 5:21am

France's Mali intervention crucial to prevent rise of jihadist state

French Mirage 2000D fighter planes. Photo: Reuters

Just as its leaders were defining a new "hands-off" strategy for Africa, France has been thrust on to the front line of one of the continent's riskiest battlefields deep in the desert of Mali.

14 Jan 2013 - 6:37am

France tightens security after Mali, Somalia action

French President Francois Hollande France “has to take all necessary precautions” in the face of a terrorist threat. Photo: EPA

France has ordered tightened security in public buildings and transport following action against radical Islamists both in Mali and Somalia, President Francois Hollande said on Saturday.

Hollande said France “has to take all necessary precautions” in the face of a terrorist threat, including “surveillance of our public buildings and our transport network”.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

Mali war escalates with French intervention

People gather as they take part in a sit-in on January 9, 2013 in Bamako to ask for ''immediate days of sovereign consultation'' on the transition in Mali. Photo: AFP

With Islamist militants controlling more than half of the northwest African nation of Mali and threatening the rest of government-held territory, France launched airstrikes in a dramatic escalation of the conflict that some observers have called the next Afghanistan.

12 Jan 2013 - 4:08pm

Foreign troops join in attack on Mali rebels

Protester march through Bamako, the Mali capital.

Malian government forces yesterday launched an offensive against Islamists controlling the north of the country with backing from the French and other foreign military, military and political sources said.

12 Jan 2013 - 3:57am

Briefs, January 5, 2013

Director George Lucas and his partner Mellody Hobson. Photo: Reuters

Two ghost gum trees painted many times by famed Aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira were burnt down just as they were being considered for inclusion on a heritage register. Northern Territory Minister for Indigenous Advancement Alison Anderson said police believe arsonists set ablaze the trees, 16 kilometres from Alice Springs. 

5 Jan 2013 - 6:25am

UN approves military action against Islamists in Mali

The UN Security Council has unanimously approved sending an African-led military force to help wrench northern Mali from Islamist militants.

A Security Council resolution on Thursday gave the force a one-year mandate to use "all necessary measures" to help Mali's government take back territory from "terrorist, extremist and armed groups".

22 Dec 2012 - 6:12am

From flagship democracy to Islamist battleground

Islamist rebels from Ansar Dine at talks in November. Photo: AFP

In 2012 Mali went from a stable democracy to a country facing a war with jihadists occupying more than half its territory, backed by Western powers who fear the arid zone may become a new haven for terrorism.

13 Dec 2012 - 5:44am

Islamists claim victory over Tuaregs in north Mali

Algabass Ag Intalla, leader of the Ansar Dine delegation (R) attends a meeting with representatives of Mali's Tuareg MNLA group as well as lead negotiator Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore in Ouagadougou. Photo: AFP

One of the Islamist groups that seized northern Mali earlier this year was claiming victory on Sunday over Tuareg fighters who tried to dislodge them.

19 Nov 2012 - 5:42pm

West African leaders agree to send troops to Mali's occupied north

The emergency summit of the Economic Community of West African States, or Ecowas, in session on November 11, 2012. Photo: AFP

West African nations have agreed to send 3,300 troops to help Mali wrest back control of its northern half, which was seized by al-Qaeda-linked fighters more than six months ago, according to an official involved in the discussions, and a statement read on Nigerian state television.

13 Nov 2012 - 2:56am

Talking Points

Raymond Chan Chi-chuen of People Power

Remembrance Sunday

10 Nov 2012 - 1:51am