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France to respond to Mali appeal for help through UN: Hollande

11th January 2013, Comments0 comments

France will respond urgently to Mali's appeal for help to repel an Islamist offensive but will only act under the auspices of the United Nations, President Francois Hollande said Friday.

"They are trying to deliver a fatal blow to the very existence of this country," Hollande said of the Islamist groups that control the north of Mali. "France, like its African partners and the whole of the international community, cannot accept this."

Despite stressing the urgency of the situation created following the Islamists' advance this week, Hollande made clear that there would be no unilateral intervention by France, the former colonial power.

"I have decided that France will respond without delay and alongside our African partners, to the request of the Malian authorities," he said.

"We will do it strictly in the framework of UN Security Council resolutions and we are ready to stop the terrorist offensive if it continues."

© 2013 AFP

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