The Malian army has regrouped in the town of Mopti, a potential new battlefield in the fight against rebels from the north.
Tuareg fighters have operating in the nearby area, which separates southern Mali and their self-declared independent state of Azawad.
The town of 115,000 thousand inhabitants is likely to become the base for any future assault by the Malian army against the rebels.
On Monday, the head of the army met with the country’s future interim president for talks.
Captain Amadou Sanago will step down shortly to be replaced by parliament speaker Dioncounda Traore.