French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian suggested that ethnic Touaregs in Mali’s northern regions should have some autonomy, while saying France doesn’t want to “dictate” the nation’s constitutional settlement.
French forces assumed command of the airport in Kidal, the last major city outside control of the Malian government, French military spokesman Thierry Burkhard said by phone, declining to give details because operations are continuing.
Donor nations pledged $455 million for an African force to help clear northern Mali of Islamist militants and the U.K. and Germany offered more support for the mission as Malian forces patrolled the streets of Timbuktu.
A “treasure” of ancient manuscripts in Mali’s historic city Timbuktu may have survived a fire caused by fighting between French troops and Islamist militants, according to the institute housing the documents.
Missions over Libya may spur sales of Eurofighter GmbH’s 65 million-pound ($106 million) Typhoon warplane as the enforcement of a no-fly zone against Muammar Qaddafi gives the jet a chance to prove its battle credentials.
Fighters loyal to Ivory Coast’s President-elect Alassane Ouattara , 69, are fighting to take over the state-run broadcaster in the commercial capital, Abidjan, as they look to oust incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo .