Category: Politics / January 11, 2013 4:24 PM EST
French President Francois Hollande announced France's armed forces had begun a military intervention in Mali on Friday afternoon (January 11) to help the government there stem a push southwards by Islamist rebels who control much of the north. Speaking is Paris, Hollande emphasized that the United Nations Security Council resolutions meant France was acting in accordance with international laws.
"Mali is being confronted with an aggression, by terrorist elements coming from the north, the brutality and fanaticism of whom the entire world is aware of. So today, the very existence of this state, which is a friend, Mali, the security of its population and that of our nationals are being undermined. There are about 6,000 over there. So on behalf of France I have responded to the request for help from the President of Mali, with support from western African countries. As a consequence, the French armed forces brought their support this afternoon to Malian army units to fight against these terrorist elements. This operation will last as long as necessary. I will keep the French regularly informed about its proceedings. The ministers concerned, the Foreign minister -- in liaison with the United Nations, because we are intervening in the framework of international legality -- as well as the Defence minister will also give all the useful information to the population. Finally, the parliament will be called upon, on Monday. The terrorists must know that France will always be here, when it comes to not only its fundamental interests but also the rights of a population, that of Mali, which wants to live freely and in a democracy. Thank you."