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Africa North
Hollande: 'We Are Winning' War in Mali
[An Nahar] President Francois Hollande
...the Socialist president of La Belle France, and a fine job he's doing of it...
said Monday that Malian troops backed by nearly 3,000 French soldiers were winning the battle to recapture the north of the country from Islamists.

"We are winning this battle," he told news hounds as officials said French and Malian troops had seized control of parts of Timbuktu, a bastion of radical Islamists occupying northern Mali since last April.

Hollande added that it was the duty of La Belle France, the former colonial power in the impoverished west African state, to create the conditions for "African forces to give Mali lasting stability".

Mali's army, boosted by the recent French military intervention, is battling Islamist hard boyz who seized swathes of the desert north following a coup last year.

Defense chiefs from west African regional grouping ECOWAS agreed Saturday to boost their troop pledges for Mali to 5,700. Chad, which is not a member of the bloc, has promised an extra 2,000 soldiers.

La Belle France said Sunday it had now deployed 2,900 troops and that 2,700 African soldiers were on the ground in Mali and neighboring Niger.
Posted by:Fred

#5  Must be - the Brits are coming, the Brits are coming, circa 350 of 'em to Mali + West Africa.

No. 10 Downing Street = UK PM Office has confirmed.

As per FREEREPUBLIC + TOPIX, about 20 Brits will be serving as Advisor-Trainers to the Mali Army.
Posted by: JosephMendiola   2013-01-29 22:24  

#4  They often do, while criticizing anyone else (ahem ... the US) for even vaguely hinting they might do the same.

Hell, they criticize us when it's clear we aren't about to be that effective.
Posted by: lotp   2013-01-29 14:06  

#3  he said they were winning the battle

Yeah, and they are doing it by kicking ass. No talk of time tables, exit strategies or Peace With Honor. As much as we love taunting the French, they seem to be doing what needs to be done here.
Posted by: SteveS   2013-01-29 13:03  

#2  they are taking major roads and towns - which is good. But the Islamists are not defeated ... just holed up in secret underground compounds. Hollande will not know for 10 years whether he has won the war in this region. Can France really stay there for 10 years - their country is bankrupt.
Posted by: Raider   2013-01-29 12:03  

#1  Misleading in the Headline; he said they were winning the battle, not the war. A big difference.
Posted by: Injun Stalin7884   2013-01-29 08:01