France has called a Monday meeting of the United Nations Security Council on the conflict in Mali, an official said Sunday.
"The Security Council will meet on Monday at 12 noon at France's request to discuss the situation in Mali," said a spokesman for the French UN mission.
Word of the high-level gathering came as French jets pounded the Islamist strongholds of Gao and Kidal in the north of the African country, forcing insurgents to flee on the third day of a game-changing intervention that has been met with relief by the population and spurred the region into action.
"Stopping the terrorists -- it's done," French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said. "Today we started taking care of the terrorists' rear bases."
French President Francois Hollande said the intervention had halted the southward rebel advance seen as threatening the capital Bamako, but stressed France's mission was not over.
Senior officers from neighboring countries were expected in Bamako on Sunday to prepare for the arrival of the first troops of a multinational West African force.
The force has been authorised by the 15-nation Security Council to help the Malian government reclaim control of the north of the country. It will be commanded by General Shehu Abdulkadir of Nigeria, which will provide around 600 men.
Burkina Faso, Niger, Senegal and Togo all pledged around 500 troops this weekend, while Benin has said it will send 300 soldiers.
It remained unclear when any of these forces would arrive and how quickly they could be deployed to the front line.
© 2013 AFP
HSBC Expat announces the opening of its sixth annual Expat Explorer Survey and encourages expats from across the globe to share their experiences of living and working abroad.
Meet the most eligible internationals in France at Expatica Date!
Join Expatica's online community to reach out for expats just like you!
This handy guide from Expertise in Labour Mobility includes information on business hierarchy, negotiations, and etiquette.
A listing of organizations in the Paris area that cater primarily to Americans living in France. Updated April 2011.
Our handy guide to the British community in Paris, from cricket clubs to Scottish country dancing lessons to where to find a jar of Marmite.
Here's a short introduction to our Banking section for those living in France, from how to open a bank account to Islamic banking and investments.