They're preparing a hero's welcome in Mali's capital Bamako for French President Francois Hollande who's due to arrive later Saturday.
With tee shirts and flags - residents are celebrating Hollande's decision help stop an Islamist insurgency in the northern part of the country.
While there, Hollande will greet some of the 3500 French soldiers he's deployed to the region.
He's also scheduled meet with the country's interim president.
Hollande due in Mali (0:31)
Feb. 2 - Mali's capital prepares for Hollande visit. Julie Noce reports. ( Transcript )