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Mali's PM visits French troops

Saturday, 19 Jan, 2013 - 01:14

Jan. 19 - The Prime Minister of Mali visits foreign troops in Bamako as France calls on World Powers to support Mali. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

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Mali's Prime Minister Django Cissoko visits French troops in Bamako. France has deployed ground troops and war planes in an effort to halt an Islamist advance in the north. (SOUNDBITE) (French) MALI PRIME MINISTER, DJANGO CISSOKO, SAYING: "We shouldn't drop our guard. We have a great hope but that's not enough. We need a clear victory on the ground, so that Mali regains its national territorial integrity." The hope is to stop militants from tightening their grip and using Mali as a springboard for attacks in Africa and on the West. The head of military operations in Timbuktu says they won't give up the fight. (SOUNDBITE) (French) CHIEF OF MILITARY OPERATIONS FOR THE TIMBUKTU REGION, COLONEL KEBA SANGARE, SAYING: "The enemy is very mobile, they started getting rid of their long robes and mixed in with the population, so we cannot be certain if the enemy has been 100 percent destroyed or not. Either way, they should know that our response will be very strong." France is calling on world powers to commit resources to the fight. The appeal comes as African leaders meet in the Ivory Coast to agree on a regional mission that is due to take over from French forces.

Mali's PM visits French troops

Saturday, 19 Jan, 2013 - 01:14

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