The advance south in recent days by Mali’s Islamist rebels has caught the region and wider world on the back foot and precipitated a move by former colonial power France to the front foot.
Speaking to diplomats in Paris on Friday, President François Hollande, confirmed France’s willingness to intervene militarily on behalf of the Malian government under the terms of existing UN Security Council resolutions. Only hours later on Friday, France said it had initiated military action in support of a government offensive to take back lost ground by government troop. Air strikes followed. Read more