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article imageFrance to stay course in Mali through 2013

By Larry Clifton     Mar 29, 2013 in Politics
Paris - French troops were supposed to pull out quickly after launching strikes against Islamic extremists in northern Mali back in January, but months have a way of turning to years in military incursions.
Apparently France’s Mali intervention is not to be an exception. President Francois Hollande announced on Thursday that French troops will stay on in Mali to dismantle al-Qaida-linked fighters until the end of 2013, when some will join a more permanent multi-national U.N. force that as yet does not exist.
Hollande gave the assessment during a televised interview on a French TV channel, Thursday, March 28, in Paris.
Pockets of Islamic extremists remain hunkered down in Mali, some choosing to hide in rugged mountain terrain while others assimilate into local populations until its deemed time to strike a target.
Hollande, in the France-2 televised interview, said the first of 4,000 troops will begin to pullout in late April. If all goes according to plan, about 2,000 troops will remain by July and about 1,000 will be there at the end of the year.
Hollande is lobbying the U.N. to deploy a “peace keeping” force in which the remaining French troops will participate, however, thus far, there has been a limited commitment by nations in the region.
More about france mali, francois hollande, islamic extemists mali, french troops mali, hollande mali intervention
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